Theater and Painting

  • Gillen D’Arcy Wood


The shock experience of modernity, as defined in my introduction, derives from the perceived realism of popular visual-cultural phenomena. Such a phenomenon was David Garrick. His first biographer, Thomas Davies, relates the impression Garrick made on his stage debut in October 1741:

Mr. Garrick’s easy and familiar, yet forcible style in speaking and acting, at first threw the critics into some hesitation concerning the novelty as well as propriety of his manner…. But after he had gone through a variety of scenes, in which he gave evident proofs of consummate art, and perfect knowledge of character, their doubts were turned into surprise and astonishment, from which they relieved themselves by loud and reiterated applause.1


Regency Stage Visual Spectacle Psychological Depth Visual Style Celebrity Culture 
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© Gillen D’Arcy Wood 2001

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  • Gillen D’Arcy Wood

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