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The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons

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The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons Tickets

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About The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons

The First Actresses presents a vivid spectacle of femininity, fashion and theatricality in the 17th and 18th century London. Taking centre stage are the intriguing and notorious female performers of the period whose lives outside the theatre ranged from royal mistresses to successful writers and businesswomen. The exhibition reveals the many ways in which these early celebrities used portraiture to enhance their reputations, deflect scandal and create their professional identities.

Featuring famous masterpieces alongside works that are on show for the first time, the fascinating stories of actresses such as Nell Gwyn, Lavinia Fenton, Mary Robinson and Sarah Siddons will be explored through portraits by the leading artists of the period including Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and James Gillray.