Everyone loves a good 1840s GIF party.
The famous actress, Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928), is shown here in the role of Lady Macbeth. At the first performance in 1888, Sargent was struck by Terry’s appearance and persuaded her to sit for a portrait. He invented her dramatic pose, which did not occur in the production. Oscar Wilde, who saw Terry’s arrival at Sargent’s Chelsea studio, remarked, ‘The street that on a wet and dreary morning has vouchsafed the vision of Lady Macbeth in full regalia magnificently seated in a four-wheeler can never again be as other streets: it must always be full of wonderful possibilities.’
The first thing that occurred to me was to have blood gushing all over Lady Macbeth, like from a horror film and of course I thought of this scene from the Shining. I borrowed the GIF from one of the bazillions all over Tumblr and inserted Lady Macbeth over top (after carefully masking her out of her canvas).
Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty!
– Lady Macbeth
Then I felt a bit guilty not GIFfing the whole thing from scratch, so I attempted to draw some blood over the poor dear.
I read Macbeth way back in Grade 11 high school English. I’ve always been haunted and intrigued by Lady Macbeth. She was such a pushy, overbearing wife but then in the end was consumed with guilt, seeing blood on her hands that she could never wash away. Ah, regret.
As part of my major end of term assignment I chose to do a magazine and one of the ad inserts was a cleaning product for poor old Lady Macbeth.
FiFi Five was somehow representative of something I thought clever, but I really can’t remember what any more.