Sasse, Marie. (1834-1907)
An interesting caricature portrait print of the important Belgian soprano, a leading soprano at the Paris Opera in the 1860's and the creator of the roles of Sélika in Meyerbeer's L'Africaine and Elisabeth de Valois in Verdi's Don Carlos. Sasse is shown as a skeletal older woman, wearing the white dress and sash of her younger days and holding a large flag. The handwritten caption below reads (translated from the French): "Mlle. Sasse's new Brabançonne (words and music.) The good old lady would have wanted to economize on author's rights." Artist's signature at the lower right reads: Trifler. Heavy edge wear with creases, toning, and small tears; light foxing to the caption, which is written on a separate slip and mounted below the drawing; folding creases. Overall in good condition. 10 x 14.5 inches (25 x 37 cm).
Sasse was famous for her passionate rendition of the Marseilleise on stage at the Paris Opera at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. This drawing appears to parody the more flattering illustrations of her on that occasion (when she was also shown in a white gown, holding the French flag) while poking fun at her inability to sing the national anthem of her own country, the Brabançonne.