Albert Rutherston

(1881—1953) painter and illustrator

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(1884–1953) English designer and painter, whose small theatre output was chiefly for Granville Barker: costumes for The Winter's Tale (Savoy, 1912), which were reproduced as illustrations to Barker's acting edition of the play; the whole scheme for Shaw's Androcles and the Lion (Savoy, 1913); a permanent setting comprising four tower-like houses with doorways opening onto a square with fountain and distant vista for Molière's The Forced Marriage (St James's, 1913). Barker later commissioned from Rutherston illustrations for Cymbeline for the Players Edition of Shakespeare (1923). Rutherston's style tended to stress theatricality: the structures grouped about the playing space for the Molière were simply functional set pieces creating four distinct means of entry as deployed in Roman comedy; the work on Cymbeline consisted mainly of swirling drapes printed with airily sketched designs suggestive of a particular locality but left to fall into obvious folds. There was no pretence at realism, only an aesthetic simplicity with some feeling for period. His Sixteen Designs for the Theatre (1938) is a useful visual record.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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