Funerary Portrait of Jacques Damala

Sarah Bernhardt French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556

The great tragic actress, Sarah Bernhardt, was also a gifted sculptor. She carved this haunting memorial to her husband, the actor Jacques Damala (1855–1889), shortly after he had died of a drug overdose. Bernhardt envisions Damala as if on his deathbed, his youthful features captured in sleep. Yet the sheet covering him also is a winding shroud and the cut flowers wilt upon a marble slab that is reminiscent of a tomb.

Funerary Portrait of Jacques Damala, Sarah Bernhardt (French, Paris 1844–1923 Paris), Marble, French, Paris

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