Ellen Terry: The Painter's Actress
10 June - 9 November 2014
The artist and aesthete W. Graham Robertson, a key figure in the history of Watts Gallery, wrote that Ellen Terry was “par excellence the Painter’s Actress”. A star of the English stage for many decades from her eventful youth of the 1860s to the 1920s, Ellen Terry formed a unique point of exchange between the theatre, painting, photography and fashion.
This exhibition explores the ways in which, through her ever-changing personae, Ellen inspired visual artists working across a range of disciplines. The exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of the young actress’s marriage to George Frederic Watts in 1864. The alliance was brief, and perhaps mismatched, but Ellen Terry’s presence was to be felt in Watts’s art. The exhibition reunites the greatest of Watts’s images of Ellen, which are perhaps the very finest of all his portraits and are among the most striking in all Victorian art.