Online Encyclopedia

LA CLAIRON (1723-1803)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 418 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LA CLAIRON (1723-1803), French actress, whose real name was CLAIRE JOSEPH HIPPOLYTE LERIS, was born at Conde sur 1'Escaut, Hainaut, on the 25th of January 1723, the natural daughter of any army sergeant. In 1736 she made her first stage appearance at the Comedic Italienne, in a small part in Marivaux's Ile des esclaves. After several years in the provinces she returned to Paris. Her life, meanwhile, had been decidedly irregular, even if not to the degree indicated by the libellous pamphlet Histoire de la demoiselle Cronel, dite Fretillon, actrice de la Comedie de Rouen, ecrite par elle-meme (The Hague, 1746), or to be inferred from the disingenuousness of her own Memoires d'Hippolyte Clairon (1798); and she had great difficulty in obtaining an order to make her debut at the Comedie Franeaise. Succeeding, however, at last, she had the courage to select the title-role of Padre (1945), and she obtained a veritable triumph. During her twenty-two years at this theatre, dividing the honours with her rival Mlle Dumesnil, she filled many of the classical r81es of tragedy, and created a great number of parts in the plays of Voltaire, Marmontel, Saurin, de Belloy and others. She retired in 1766, and trained pupils for the stage, among them Mlle Raucourt. Goldsmith called Mlle Clairon " the most perfect female figure I have ever seen on any stage " (The Bee, 2nd No.); and Garrick, wlfile recognizing her unwillingness or inability to make use of the inspiration of the instant, admitted that " she has everything that art and a good understanding with great natural spirit can give her."
End of Article: LA CLAIRON (1723-1803)
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I am the owner of a portrat of "La Clairon" from Quentin de la Tour but not signed, it is a pastel, if you would be interested, please contact me on my phone 0033 (0)467 58 59 16. I leave in Montpellier, France. I would send to you a photo soon. Sincerely yours. Suzanne.
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