Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

John Singer Sargent – Portrait Paintings

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent – Portrait Paintings

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) was an American artist, considered the leading portrait painter of his generation. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies displayed a familiarity with Impressionism.

John Singer Sargent – Portrait Paintings

  • Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw
  • Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts
  • Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent depicts Gertrude Agnew, the wife of Sir Andrew Agnew, 9th Baronet. Lady Agnew is seated in an 18th-century French chair with a back that is curving to create a space for a distinctive elegance. She is shown in a three-quarter length pose, dressed in a white gown with a silk mauve sash around her waist. The wall behind her is draped with Chinese silk of a blue color. Lady Agnew looks directly at the viewer. Her intimate expression is both challenging and quizzical half-smiling.

Gertrude Vernon was born in 1865, the granddaughter of the 1st Baron Lyveden. She married Sir Andrew Agnew, 9th Baronet of Lochnaw Castle, in 1889. A few years later, he commissioned John Singer Sargent to paint her portrait. The public success of the painting endowed her with additional prestige. Lady Agnew died in London in1932 after suffering ill health for a long time.

“Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw” by John Singer Sargent

  • Title:                 Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw
  • Artist:               John Singer Sargent
  • Year:                 1892
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:     Height: 127 cm (50 ″); Width: 101 cm (39.7 ″)
  • Museum:          Scottish National Gallery

~~~

Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts

"Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts" by John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts depicts one of the artist’s childhood friend, Fanny Watts. The portrait was the first by Sargent to be exhibited at the Paris Salon. The Salon was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1748 and 1890, it was the greatest annual art event in the Western world. The skin tones, subtle lighting, and brushwork demonstrated in this painting made John Singer Sargent one of the most sought-after portraitists of his time.

“Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts” by John Singer Sargent

  • Title:                Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts
  • Artist:               John Singer Sargent
  • Year:                1877
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:    Height: 105.9 cm (41.6 ″); Width: 81.3 cm (32 ″)
  • Museum:        Philadelphia Museum of Art

~~~

Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer

"Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer" by John Singer Sargent

“Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer” by John Singer Sargent was the last in the series of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family. The Wertheimer portraits are a series of twelve portrait paintings made by John Singer Sargent of and for the British art dealer Asher Wertheimer (1843-1918) and his family. The series was Sargent’s largest private commission.

Almina was Asher Wertheimer’s fifth daughter. She is shown in an oriental costume of a white Persian dress and a turban entwined with pearls. The white and green over-jacket was a studio prop, as was the musical instrument. Paintings of European women cast as alluring ‘orientals’ were fashionable at the turn of the twentieth century. Almina (1886-1928), married Antonio Pandelli Fachiri (1886-1928/9) in 1915.

Asher Wertheimer was born in London. His father, Samson, was born in Germany and became a leading art dealer in London, and Asher continued the business from premises on Bond Street after his father’s death. Asher married his wife Flora (1846-1922) in 1873; she was the daughter of another London art dealer. The family became friends of John Singer Sargent. He often dined at their home, which was decorated with eight of the family portraits. Wertheimer commissioned Singer Sargent to paint two portraits to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary in 1898, and ten more commissions followed in the next decade.

“Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer” by John Singer Sargent

  • Title:                 Portrait of Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts
  • Artist:                John Singer Sargent
  • Year:                  1908
  • Medium:           Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:      Height: 134 cm (52.7 ″); Width: 101 cm (39.7 ″)
  • Museum:          Tate Britain

~~~

Theodore Roosevelt

"Theodore Roosevelt" by John Singer Sargent

“Theodore Roosevelt” by John Singer Sargent is Roosevelt’s official presidential portrait. Sargent depicts the President’s physical vitality and self-assurance in nuanced blacks, grays, browns, and creams. Sargent arrived in America in1903 and soon received a letter from Roosevelt inviting him to live in the White House for a  month to work on the portrait.

Sargent and Roosevelt toured the White House together while Sargent explored for appropriate light and pose. As Roosevelt led the artist up the stairs, the president said: “The trouble with you Sargent is that you don’t know what you want.” Sargent replied, “No, the trouble, Mr. President, is that you don’t know what a pose means.” Roosevelt grasped the stair post and snapped, “Don’t I!”

“Don’t move an inch. You’ve got it now,” responded Sargent.

Sargent formalized the pose and depicted Theodore Roosevelt with a near scowl expression and an expressive hand commanding the space.

“Theodore Roosevelt” by John Singer Sargent

  • Title:                 Theodore Roosevelt
  • Artist:                John Singer Sargent
  • Year:                 1903
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:     Height: 105.9 cm (41.6 ″); Width: 81.3 cm (32 ″)
  • Museum:          White House

~~~

Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts

"Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts" by John Singer Sargent

“Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts” by John Singer Sargent depicts a British Victorian era general who became a successful British military commander. Frederick Sleigh Roberts (1832 – 1914) was born in India and joined the East India Company Army and served as an officer in the Indian Rebellion, during which he won a Victoria Cross for gallantry. He was then transferred to the British Army and fought in Abyssinia and in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, in which his exploits earned him widespread fame. Roberts served as the Commander-in-Chief, India, before leading British Forces in the Second Boer War.

Roberts became a symbol for the British Army and became an influential proponent of the increasing threat that the German Empire posed to Britain in the lead up to the First World War.

“Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts” by John Singer Sargent

  • Title:                 Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts
  • Artist:               John Singer Sargent
  • Year:                 1906
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:     Height: 163.8 cm (64.4 ″); Width: 105 cm (41.3 ″)
  • Museum:         National Portrait Gallery, London

~~~

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent is considered one of the leading portrait painters and is known for his evocations of the luxury of his era. He created over 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as many sketches and drawings. He also traveled extensively across Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Many of John Singer Sargent portraits, which can be found in museums across the world, depict society’s leading lights and the opulence of their time.

John Singer Sargent

~~~

“You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”
– John Singer Sargent

~~~


Photo Credit: John Singer Sargent [Public domain]

Popular this Week

Prehistoric Deer Skull Headdresses
Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites - Virtual Tours
Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Virtual Tour
Portraits by El Greco
"Berlin Street Scene" by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ancient and Historical Maps
"A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat
Upside Down Jenny, U.S. Postage Stamp Error
Ancient Artifacts - Virtual Tour

SEARCH