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Ep 144 Sarah Siddons - A statue success story

© David Hawgood CC BY SA 2.0

One of the very few statues of Women in London, put up in 1897, by Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud, is for Welsh actress Sarah Siddons. Who was known for her sensitive portrayal of tragic heroines like Lady Macbeth,

Sarah as Lady Macbeth (surely it's ok in print) by Robert Smirke . From Folger Digital Image Collection

She was painted many many times, by the best portrait painters of the day: Gainsborough - in the National Gallery

Thomas Lawrence - In the Tate (not currently on display)

and by John Downman at the National Portrait Gallery

Her Statue - above, in Paddington Green, was based on a portrait by Joshua Reynolds - at copy at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Which in turn was the model for the fictional Sarah Siddons Award:

Still from All about Eve -Dir Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Anne Baxter playing Eve Harrington receiving the award

As shown in the 1950 Oscar Best Picture winning All about Eve.

Which in turn prompted the formation of the Sarah Siddons Society, in 1952, in Chicago. Who annually award this trophy to actors:

Photo © 14GTR (CC by SA 4.0) Statue by Thomas Campbell, dated 1845

Siddons also has a statue (larger than life (No Alex, Not just her knockers) ), In Westminster Abbey. St Andrew's Chapel which we helpfully clarified as being either behind General Wolfe, or maybe just beyond George Canning. Let us know if you find her, I'm certainly going to go for a rummage as soon as I can.

And, A Pub!:

©Jaggery Via Geograph (CC BY-SA 2.0)

And, wait for it, most excting of all, an engine, named after her:

In 2013 for the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Company a special train ran through the tunnels. At the front was Met 1, a steam engine. Bringing up the rear was Sarah Siddons. I may be able to come back and shorten this film, for the moment, you'll have to watch it all.... or skip forward to about 1.06 to see her in action.

This is just the images to make sense of what we mention on the pod. To get the full story, you know what to do:

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

And get in touch, Especially if you can join us/Fiona at the Matchgirls concert on Saturday 1st July.

Instagram; @ladieswholondonpodcast


Alex’s guiding website -

Fiona’s guiding profile -Fiona Lukas - Guide London

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