Just Bloody fun: 1840s GIF Party

By | January 31, 2014

Everyone loves a good 1840s GIF party.

There’s an amazing collection of them growing as part of this DS106 assignment, at the GIFfight Tumblr, many by the CogDog himself.

I chose to GIF up this Oil paint on canvas Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth (1889) by John Singer Sargent (1856‑1925).

 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).

The Shining bloody elevator Lady Macbeth mashup


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.

Bloody Crown of Lady Macbeth

Out, damned spot! out, I say!

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.

Advert for the Lady MacBeth of the house

FiFi Five was somehow representative of something I thought clever, but I really can’t remember what any more.

2 thoughts on “Just Bloody fun: 1840s GIF Party

  1. Andrew Forgrave

    I, too, have fond memories of reading Macbeth in high school. Shakespeare initially seems so foreign at first encounter, but there’s a lot of benefit to be had from the experience. Just like making GIFs!

    🙂 Maybe she stuttered when she said “five” ??

  2. Giulia

    Out of the blue, it suddenly occurred to me that FiFi – represents Fie! Fie! and the five is Act 5, where Lady MacBeth says:

    35 Out, damned spot! out, I say!—One: two: why,
    36 then, ’tis time to do’t.—Hell is murky!—Fie, my
    37 lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we
    38 fear who knows it, when none can call our power
    39 to account?—Yet who would have thought the old
    40 man to have had so much blood in him?

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