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Who were the actresses that dominated the stage in 17th and 18th century Britain? To be sure, they were a diverse lot, and they included admired writers, businesswomen, and royal mistresses. This online exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery in London pays homage to their portraits, and also offers artworks of contemporary actresses. Visitors can begin their journey by clicking on "Explore". Here they will learn about the world of the first actresses on the English stage, who were first permitted to perform in public in the early 1660s. They will find portraits of women like Lavinia Fenton, who was renowned for her work in John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera". Moving on, "The Actress Now" contains several portraits of contemporary actresses, such as Dame Helen Mirren. Finally, the "Actress Insights" area affords visitors the opportunity to learn about the inspirations for current actresses, including Zoe Tapper and ZÃÂ¶e Wanamaker.
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