Leopoldo Fregoli poses in the centre inset portrait within a collage of other portraits of men. Process print, 1903.
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About this work
A photo-montage showing the actor Leopoldo Fregoli surrounded by genuine portraits of many of the famous people whom he impersonated in his stage act. They include amongst many others Wagner, Karl Marx, Rossini, Verdi, Gladstone, Garibaldi, Kruger, Beethoven and others. Leopoldo Fregoli (Italian, 1867-1936) was the greatest 'protean' quick-change artist ever seen on the stage. This card shows him in just a few of his male and female disguises. He would play dozens of different characters in the course of his act, with total transformations being achieved in seconds. An international sensation, he appeared at the Palace Theatre London under the aegis of Alfred Moul in 1897. His name has been attached to 'Fregoli delusion' or 'Fregoli syndrome', a rare disorder whereby sufferers have a delusional paranoid belief that they are being persecuted by someone able to adopt different disguises (James Gardiner)