Ira Aldridge as Zanga


The portrait reproduced here shows Ira Aldridge at the height of his powers, receiving enthusiastic applause for his performance as Zanga in the play Revenge. The accompanying review contrasts sharply with the criticisms of Aldridge made by The Times. The reviewer notes that 'many who ridiculed the idea of a native-born African successfully representing a dramatic character, retired with very different feelings'.

ZPER 34/12, Illustrated London News, 1 April 1848, p. 218
By courtesy of the Illustrated London News Picture Library

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