Full image caption
Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) as Mathias in 'The Bells'. Oil on canvas. Three quarter length portrait of Henry Irving. Henry Irving is facing half left and is seated in an armchair. He is wearing a reddish brown suit and reddish brown and yellow striped waistcoat. The part of Mathias in 'The Bells', a man racked by remorse for a murder he committed many years before, was perhaps Irving's most famous role. It was certainly the one he performed most frequently. The scene depicted here is the moment when Mathias, on the anniversary of his crime, suddenly hears the bells of the murdered man's sledge ringing in his ears, and sinks back into his chair transfixed.
© Museum of London