Ira Aldridge: Theatrical Trailblazer

Ira Aldridge as Othello in ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare
artist unknown
ca. 1848
oil on canvas, 1678 × 1312 in.
This small painting was made in England around 1848 by an anonymous artist. It again shows Aldridge in costume, probably for the role of Othello, and is in the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, named after England’s nineteenth-century Queen who was herself an avid theatre-goer. Aldridge became a naturalized English citizen and subject of Queen Victoria in 1863.

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