"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Saturday, July 2, 2016

James Henry Hackett

as Rip Van Winkle
This c. 1832 portrait of James Henry Hackett (March 15, 1800 – December 28, 1871) by Henry Inman hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"A character actor who specialized in comic American 'types,' James Henry Hackett made his debut in 1826. Here he is shown in the role of Rip Van Winkle, in a play he adapted in 1830 from Washington Irving's story. The role was particularly appropriate for the young United States: the colonial Rip falls asleep and awakens twenty years later, astonished at how America had changed. Hackett went on to have a successful career in both England and the United States. He later moved into theater management, producing, and playwriting. While his contributions to the American theater were great, he always was disappointed that he never succeeded in the major tragic roles." -- National Portrait Gallery

This engraving of James H. Hackett by W. G. Jackson "from a photograph" appeared in Hackett's 1863 book Notes, Criticisms, and Correspondence upon Shakespeare's Plays and Actors.

This illustratration of J. H. Hackett as Falstaff is available on Wikipedia.

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