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Details & Cataloguing

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

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London

Roger Furse
1903 - 1972
OPHELIA'S HILL, HAMLET
signed and titled
ink, ink wash, gouache and pencil on paper
35 by 44.5cm.; 13¾ by 17½in.
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Catalogue Note

Roger Furse was one of the preeminent British theatre designers of the mid-20th Century, and was also a particularly close friend and colleague to both Vivien and Larry.  After studying fine art at both the Slade and in Paris, he then moved into theatre design in the 1930s, and achieved considerable success designing settings and costumes for both stage and screen. He often stayed with the Oliviers at Notley Abbey, and there exists in the Vivien Leigh Archive at the Victoria & Albert Museum a lively correspondence between Furse and Vivien detailing the many visits, gifts exchanged, and warm friendship that they shared.  Furse worked extensively with Olivier on a number of productions, including on the 1948 film Hamlet, which Olivier both produced and starred in the title role, for which Furse and Olivier both won two Oscars, Furse for the art direction and costumes in a black and white film, and Olivier best actor and best picture. Later on, in 1951, Furse did the set design for Olivier’s productions of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra, a particularly complex production of the two plays which were performed on alternating nights, in which both Olivier and Leigh starred.

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

|
London