Not an interior fantasy world but not quite a real one either – how can the atmosphere of the theatre, circus and ballet be conveyed to the viewer of a static art-work? A wide range of images and artists will be discussed, grouped around four particular case-studies. These have been selected to focus attention on the differing approaches and techniques whereby artists have attempted to translate the theatrical experience into a single image, and perhaps to explore the theatricality of art itself. Advertising, audience, backstage, big top, individual performers and the stage itself all come under the scrutiny of the artistic eye that needs to freeze and concentrate a complex, hectic experience into a single moment of representation.
William Hogarth – A Scene from the Beggar’s Opera (1731 - Tate Britain); Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Moulin Rouge – La Goulue (1891 - Lithographic poster); Walter Sickert – The New Bedford (1915/6 – Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate); Henri Matisse – The Horse, the Rider and the Clown - (1947 - From the ‘Jazz’ series).