One of a pair of shadowboxes. The other box is titled: A shadowbox framed depiction David Garrick on stage. Provenance from a label affixed to the top of one of a pair of boxes, in Mrs. Lewis hand. Formerly owned by the Vestris (Mrs. Charles Mathews, Lucia Elizabeth Mathews 1797-1856, daughter of the engraver Gaetano Bartolozzi) and were given by the Lewises to Winchell Smith (the playwright) in 1832 and on his death came back to the Lewises.
The dancer wearing a Roman toga is perhaps David Garrick, with Mrs. Siddons accompanying him on the lute. In his imaginary journey through time, Three tours through London in the years 1748, 1776, 1797 (New Haven, 1941), Wilmarth S. Lewis 'goes' to the London theatre of 1776 where "Garrick still requires that those playing a scene with him shall turn their backs to the audience when addresssing him so that there will be no question whatever of its attention being diverted from him. Failure to observe this rule ... caused young Mrs. Siddons to fall into disfavour and contributed to her dismissal from the company."
Garrick, David,--1717-1779. Siddons, Sarah,--1755-1831. Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth Bartolozzi,--1797-1856--Ownership.
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Lewis Walpole Library LEWIS WALPOLE LIBRARY, Prints and Drawings