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What's New Page May-June 2004

April 02, 2004

The Greatest Non-Event of All Time

Am I crazy, or has there been no publicity about the Library murals nearing completion? What’s up with that? Have I missed something? Are they in fact finished? Is there not going to be any big write-up in the paper on this? Anyone in Boston know?

Robert Louis Stevenson portrait set for US sale

From: News.scotsman

AN OIL painting of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife that the author once described as excellent but "damn queer" is expected to fetch up to $7 million (£3.9 million) when it goes on sale at Sotheby’s in New York. (goto


Whistler's Mother get's out

The Detroit Institute of Arts, is currently showing "American Attitude: Whistler and His Followers" celebrates the influential work of Whistler and his impact on American painting. The show is running between March 14th and June 6th. Among the 63 paintings is his most famous work, Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother, commonly referred to as "Whistler's Mother." Other signature works by Whistler include Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., as well as the DIA's own Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket. The exhibition is organized in a way that shows Whistler's unique handling of compositional and tonal arrangements and their impact. Other Whistler paintings are on view, along with works by American artists who were influenced by his innovative ideas including John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Henry Ossawa Tanner and others.

March 29, 2004

The Hottest Destination

As you may remember, the remarkable “Sargent and Italy” exhibition that swept across 3 venues between 2002 and 2003, never quite made it to the east coast of the United States. In fact it never got more east than Denver.

With the centennial celebration of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum underway (She first invited people to her home to see her collection of art at her Fenway Court home on February 23rd , 1903), A more narrowed theme of Sargent in Venice makes its way to Boston. Starting near the end of April, the Gardner has taken some of those paintings from “Sargent and Italy,” added others, and have broadened it to include contemporaries to Sargent, all of whom had connection to Mrs. Jack, Venice and those around the Palazzo Barbaro. They have aptly entitled it: “Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle

23 Sargent works will be featured in addition to other works by artists such as Anders Zorn, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet.

Kristin Parker, who works for the Gardner Museum and is a friend of the JSS Gallery, tells me there will be a catalogue book which they hope to have ready for the opening -- April 21st.

With the resent Restoration of the Library Murals, Boston this summer should prove to be the hottest place to visit if you’re a Co-Maniac.


March 26, 2004

Hyde's Hide

From: David Hyde
(r2 h
Date: Saturday, February 28, 2004

Hi Nat;

I had a look at your "Whats New " page and am awed by the effort you have put into it. If you carry in the same style I think you should enquire about an honorary doctorate from a University of your choice!

I attach a painting [by Frank Hyde] that I have just received from Norway.

Elizabeth Miller thinks that it was painted around 1880 but she has yet to see it.

Do you think that the woman reclining on the sofa is Rosina Ferrara?



From: Natasha

Cheers right back to you, David. My vote is for Rosina.

No one can accuse me of being punctual.

PS Take a look around The Frank Hyde Gallery, it’s quite interesting and David has been doing more than a little bit of work himself, in fact he is a major Co-Maniac in the broadest sense of the term – he’s got it bad (wink).


March 25, 2004

de la Gandara Encore

From: Xavier Mathieu
Date: March 22, 2004

I've some news for you, mainly some good images of Antonio de La Gandara paintings for your site but also, on my side of the ocean, I'm working with the French postal authorities to bring about a stamp dedicated to Antonio de La Gandara. I'll keep you informed.

Attached are the 4 paintings
- Charlotte -- being the painter's widow
- Anselme -- my great grandfather
- Luxembourg -- the famous Parisian garden
- Ida Rubinstein, the famous actress and dancer



March 23, 2004

March 18, 2004

Relatively Speaking

Alberto Falchetti according to Cheri Falchetti

March 17, 2004

Just Raindrops - one after another

Paintings added:

Thistles 1883-1884
The Pink Dress 1912
Spanish Interior 1903
Violet Sleeping 1908
White Ox at Siena 1910
Madame Paul Escudier (2nd) 1882
Piazza Navona, Rome 1907
Carolus-Duran (Oil Study)
Stable at Cuenca 1903
Still Life with Daffodils 1890


Teacher's Thoughts

From: Matt Davies
(matt davies
Date: Saturday, March 13, 2004

Attached is a document of the article “A French Student and His Pupils” from The Century, Vol. XXXI, No. 38 (1886), pp. 372-376. I thought the article would make a good addition to the JSS Gallery, as it is a rare glimpse into the teaching methods and ideologies of Sargent's teacher Carolus Duran.


March 16, 2004

Dispatches from France

From: Madeleine Bruchet
(madeleine. bru ch
Date: 3/15/2004

Dear Natasha,

This week I am preparing a translation of a text about "Judith Gautier à la Fourberie" with events on her meetings with celebrities in Dinard: writers, painters, and even Wagner. This is for my next mail;

Today I'm sending you pictures that I didn't see on line:

- Young boy on the beach (always for our dear gatherers), 1877, 43.8x26 cm, Terra Collection. I found it in the catalogue of the inaugural exhibition of americam Museum of Giverny (Terra Collection)

- Portrait of Jacques-Emile Blache, c. 1886, Museum of the fine Arts of Rouen (Normandy).. I saw this picture at "american impressionnism" in L'hermitage (Switzerlan) in september 2002.

Very friendly


March 12, 2004

Loose Ends

Death and Victory, a small matter of perception -- Pinker responds

Another drawing "of" instead of "by" this time -- Sargent -- done by William Rothenstein

George, Madge, even Nettie -- don't you know? Why they are the Rollers, so saith Michael & Susan


March 11, 2004

Boldini Corner

From: Gabriella Alu'
(gab ri
Date: Monday, March 8, 2004

Dear Natasha,

I'm sending you another portrait of Donna Franca Florio by Boldini (it's a little watercolor) and some photos of Donna Franca Florio

I hope you are interested in seeing the real Boldini's portraits model...

In one of this photos (F.F. is with the German Kaiser William II in  Palermo, Villa Igea) , she's wearing the same long, famous string of pearls of the
Boldini's portrait...

I'm sending you also a photo that I found into an Italian book about the Florio family. It's the photo showing the most famous Boldini's picture of Donna Franca. But how you can see, in the picture of this photo Franca Florio's skirt is longer than in the portrait of which you had online and the dress is not the same, it seems to me.

This was because it's a second version of the portrait: as a matter of fact,  Ignazio Florio (Franca's husband)  considered the first portrait
too sensual and provocative and  he wanted that Boldini to make the skirt longer...    ;-) But I don't know  who the owner is or where is this portrait now...

Also a photo of Boldini painting

I found all of this information  (that, here in Palermo, everyone knows)  in two Italian books:

- Salvatore Requirez "CASA FLORIO", Flaccovio Editore, Palermo, 1998

- Anna Pomar "FRANCA FLORIO", edizioni Novecento, Palermo, 2002.

I hope you enjoy!


Gabriella Alu'


Other Stuff

James Passmore sent some things to chew on regarding Lady Agnew

Andy Holzopfel has been sending me some photographs of museums that hold Sargent's art. I've decided to start a new page called Gallery Index, An outrageously titled page since I only have a small number but with help of people like YOU, maybe it will grow

Posted by Natasha2d at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2004

Death and Victory


From: Ali Mooraj
ag moo
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004

Dear Natasha

Are you aware of the reference to the painting "Death and Victory" in Steven Pinker: "The Blank Slate", Penguin Books 2002, p.160 ? (Pinker is a Harvard Psychologist) . . . .

Your comments would be welcome.

Editor's Note - Take picture link to see Pinker's reference and Natasha's comments

Posted by Natasha2d at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2004

Sargent's Method

Since March 9, 2001, one week shy of exactly four years, I have been yearning , and dreaming of making this “What’s New” entry.

This is big! This is huge! This is so unbelievably important.

In 1998, right before the John Singer Sargent Retrospective was to open in London, Jacqueline Ridge and Joyce Townsend wrote one of the most thoughtful and complete looks at Sargent’s technique and materials ever to have been put to paper:

John Singer Sargent's later portraits
The Artist's technique and materials
Jacqueline Ridge and Joyce Townsend
As it first appeared in Apollo Vol. 148, Issue 439 (1998)
pp. 23-30

Posted by Natasha2d at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2004

A quick word on what's new

A couple of things tonight

A very old friend of the JSS Gallery whom has always wished to remain anonymous has sent me some postcards from which I can give you
Shady Paths Vizcaya

Some other new online here are:
Man with Loincloth
Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence
Mountain Fire which is sent to me by Todd Baldini

And finally, to top off my month anyway, I got a VERY kind accolade from James R Jensen I think you'll find what he says interesting -- I did.


February 20, 2004

Picture Gatherers at Cancale

Madeleine Bruchet, followed up a letter I sent her:
Thursday, February 5, 2004 Hello,

I enjoyed your letter and in the next weeks I'll send you current pictures of Cancale. In fact my grandparents lived in Cancale where my mother was born, and I was born in Dinard (8 miles from Cancale) now I live in Rennes. I am preparing a geographic card of this country for you to explain the places.

For today I send you ancient pictures of Cancale, my father had many
postcards of Cancale, and the picture of the women gathering oysters is very pleasant..

I'll go at the museum of Cancale, I think they have a picture of our dear painter Sargent, and I'll ask if I can get a copy.

I like photography very much, and I have many ancient views of the whole country.

Later more pictures, I promise you!

Yours very friendly


Not only has Madeleine sent copies of old postcards but also two new Sargent studies of women with baskets which I did not have online. Through her help (and more to come hopefully) and with her encouragement, and after two weeks in the making, both Madeleine (a new "Patron" to the JSS Gallery) and I, present to you a new look at

Oyster Gatherers of Cancale


February 04, 2004


From: Royce Isham (ro ycei Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Fairbrother's article "A Private Album" (Arts Magazine 56, Dec. 1981) includes an illustration of a watercolor of a male nude reclining on a hotel bed. Is the identity of this figure known? I wondered if it could be Peter Harrison.

I noted somewhere on your site a reference to the dirth of printed material on
Boldini. I'm sure this has already been brought to your attention, but Christie's issued a fine booklet on Boldini in November of 1995, "Fifteen Paintings by Giovanni Boldini Collected by the Late Baron Maurice de Rothschild." This includes a rather lengthy biography as well as numerous illustrations.

Thanks so much for your site. What a labor of love! Wouldn't one like to have
known JSS personally! Even then he would surely remain an enigma. I've read
virtually the entire JSS literature and still feel that I'm at "square one." The absence of evidence of any normal, intimate relationship would make him seem
inhuman, were it not for his devotion to his immediate family. In any case it's natural and normal to wish to know more, and to suggest otherwise would be
a waste of time.

Posted by Natasha2d at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2004

A Voice after "Laurence Millet"

I recently received a nice letter from David Laurence Flynn who happens to be the Grandson of "Laurence Millet" (a subject of Sargent's) and the Great Grandson to Frank Millet (see letter)
Posted by Natasha2d at 03:59 PM | Comments (2)

Denver Proves to be the Most Popular Venue

The exhibition figures are in for 2003, and "Sargent and Italy," as shown at Denver this last summer, was the most attended of the three venues and it ranked 191st (if I’m counting correctly) of the top 200 exhibitions throughout the world. On average it saw 963 people per day or a total of 71,140 in attendance.

Other exhibitions of note were “Whistler’s women and fashion” at the Frick in New York which saw 1,008 per day; “Paris in the age of Impressionism” at the High Museum in Atlanta saw 1,681 per day; and “Art Deco 1910-1939” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London saw 3,103 per day.

I wish we could get the figures on Sargent’s show in Italy and in L.A. which aparently didn't reach the 220-odd number threshold for listing.

The figures were compiled by The Art and you can see the Pdf file here

Posted by Natasha2d at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

De László

De László's portrait of Miss Anny Ahlers (1933), which was included in the recent exhibition, "A Brush with Grandeur: Philip A. de László" at Christie's, London, is currently being offered for sale by Christopher Wood Gallery, London, for 100,000 pounds.

Matt Davies

Posted by Natasha2d at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

Boldini (cont.)

Hi Nat - I noticed you had put some new Boldini works on your site recently. I thought I would send this your way real quick. This is an article from the April 3, 1933, issue of Time Magazine. It discusses a 1933 exhibit at Wildenstein's Galleries, New York, of the works of Boldini, organized by a Mrs. Chester Dale. It is an interesting, though brief article.

[see article]

Matt Davies

Posted by Natasha2d at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004

January 28, 2004

In the Words of a Poet

This is new, well . . . not really, but then I haven't had time to present it in the way it deserves, that is until now. Matt Davies found this little gem (and tell me if it isn’t the most wonderful article on Sargent you've ever read) called “Sargent and His Art,” by Christian Brinton for Munsey’s Magazine in 1906.
Posted by Natasha2d at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Parametrically Speaking


The Molson Brothers 1902? (Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1902)


From: Matt Davies m attda Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I know this is kind of a random subject, but I came across this portrait tonight on the Internet and I thought it might be of interest to you. I am always interested in seeing not only Sargent's works, but also those of his contemporaries. It gives a good idea of the other types of portraits Sargent's works would have been shown with in exhibits, such as the Royal Academy in this particular case.


Cecil Van Haanen 
"venetian Bead-Stringers"




In the theme of what Matt was talking about. I was going through my website, working on something else (like always), when I ran into a page I was working on last summer -- one I had finished, uploaded and then promptly forgot before I had linked to it. Maybe a little belated, but that's the beauty of working with history -- nothing changes -- generally. So take another look at an interesting depiction of Venetian Bead Stringers done just five years after Sargent’s Venetian Studies

Posted by Natasha2d at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2004

Paintings Added

Bedouin Encampment 1906
Boboli Gardens 1907
Blue Gentians 1905
Cashmere Shawl 1910
House and Garden 1883-1884
Ramón Subercaseaux 1880
President Woodrow Wilson 1917

And then I got a letter a little while ago

From: Madeleine Bruchet
mad ele ine.bru
Date: Sunday, January 4, 2004

Best wishes for a happy New Year, much pleasure in painting and pictures.

Do you know of this picture of John Singer Sargent "Melle Judith Gautier à la Fourberie", it is from Jean Faure Museum in Aix les Bains 'France)

I know the place where he painted it: Saint Lunaire, just near Dinard where he stayed. I was born in Dinard and know the glade of this picture.


September 19, 2003

Congratulations for this album on Sargent. My family is living in Cancale (Oyster Gatherers) it was the first picture of Sargent's I saw in Washington.

A french writer, Mrs Annie Cohen-Solal, wrote about American painters, and
I met her


From: Natasha

Thank you so much and welcome to the Friends of the JSS Gallery. I would love to see that glade in person one day.

I was wondering, since you live in Cancale, is there anyway you could send me some pictures of the beach there? I'm sure its quite different but I would love to give people an idea of the place today.


January 22, 2004

What's New

What I can bring you new today has a lot to do with what Andy Holzopfel did for me last fall. I’m afraid I’m only now getting around to getting it up online – thanks Andy!!!

Corcoran Gallery of Art
Renwick Gallery
And the National Gallery, Washington


January 21, 2004

Letters to the Editor

From: Wendy & Gordon Hawksley
g w  @w hawksley. fsn  et. co. uk
Date: Saturday, January 17, 2004

Hi Natasha

We have been intending to send you an email for a while about a few things. They are;

We are going to put a page from the Antique Trade Gazette dated 20th September 2003 (image attached) in the post to you. It advertises an auction at John Nicholson auctioneers ( on 23 September 2003. There is a tiny image of one of the paintings in the auction which they describe as "believed to be John Singer Sargent". It is a half length portrait of an unknown lady. The estimate was £5,000 + unfortunately we dont know what it was sold for. The style of the painting doesn't immediately shout JSS to us, we will be interested to see what you think.


(Editor's Note -- It doesn't strike me as a Sargent Painting either)

We have just acquired the new book on De Laszlo which accompanies the current exhibition in London. Amongst other things it has an interesting essay by Richard Ormond who looks at JSS's work in conjunction with De Laszlo's [Brush with Grandeur -- Philip Alexius de László]. It is a beautiful book with some stunning images - and well worth getting if you havent got it already. We would love to go to the exhibition before it closes, but unfortunately we won't have the time.

(. . . ) we intend (hopefully) to launch a website on William Ranken's life and work much later this year. With your permission, we would like to put a link in to your site on JSS and would like to do this by using your site's logo (the JSS lettering and his photograph at the top of your home page). The other recommended sites will be the Art Renewal site and the Victoria & Albert museum's site containing the Lafayette negatives.

Best Wishes,

Wendy & Gordon

From Natasha

Good luck with the site and I will help you in any way I can!!!!


Our New Newspaper the Co-maniacs

The Struggle over the Blog continues, but as you can see, there has been some success – in keeping with my New Years Resolution of keeping positive.

Movable Type is a far superior Blog program but I had to pay Movable Type to install it on my server – it’s not for the faint of heart if you want to tweak the program beyond any basic settings. I have been lauding it to some of my “Friends of the JSS Gallery” but the jury is still out if this is THE program for new galleries of artists. Not to say that it’s not the best out there – it is the BEST!!!, But someone like me, who has little training in programming (and most of the Friends of the JSS Gallery have far less than I do) . . . . well, suffice it to say I have a lot less hair than when I started and I still only in the beginning stages of getting this thing to where I want it.

What I hope for is something in the neighborhood of – which is nothing more than a little weekly magazine (a major understatement) of-and-about the fine city of Chicago. Set in a 3 column “paper/mag” format it has a number of contributing writers. Designed by the very talented Nazarin Hamid who also has personal websites worth seeing here (his writing), here (his photos), and here (his music); and Chief editor Andrew Huff have put together one of the most interesting webpages I’ve seen in a very long time – even if you don’t live in Chicago. With the help of 19 contributing writers – all volunteers – they manage to put together a very slick and well edited overview of Everything Chicago.

The parallels and opportunities of what can be done with a “JSS Gallery newspaper” are mind boggling. With Movable Type, selected and pre-approved “contributing writers” can upload information, what’s new items, general information and send me images of paintings etc without having to go through me and my e-mail.

Obviously, this slightly dyslexic, horrible speller is the last person who should take on the job of a Chief Editor of any publication (electronically or otherwise) but taking on things that I have no business taking on seems to be my Modus Operandi and the thing that captures my imagination – talk about a prescription for inner personal conflict and frustration!

In the mist of all this – tweaking programs – learning program syntax and uploading changes, my server – the place where the JSS Gallery is hosted -- has been offline more than it has been online. Each evening (or so it seems) right when I do most of my thinking and struggling with the program the server and my site come crashing down –


But the guys where I have this thing housed have been good to me thus far and I pray they get this worked out in the near future. It’s frustrating though, because the one thing I want to work on I can’t.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand –

Alma Strettell



As you might have already figured, I have been playing with the idea of a name for our new Newspaper. Sargent, who was a honest-to-goodness groupie of the composer Wager called himself and his friend Alma Strettell (whom was just as crazy-nuts about Wagner) “the Co-maniacs.” It is somewhat reassuring . . . . or maybe that’s not the right word (let me start over). It is more than just a little wonderful to learn that someone as “kool”, as talented, as hard working, as successful, as Sargent; was capable and honest enough to admit that – when you got right down to it – he was as much a weak-kneed-screaming-got-to-have-it groupie as any of us. It has also struck me, on more than one occasion, that some of my most ardent “friends and fellow fanatics” are very capable artists in their own right. There is a sisterhood (or brotherhood) of people who just understand and can appreciate his talent. It just seemed appropriate that “Co-maniacs” would be the mantra by which we go forward. Most won't probably get it and maybe it is a little too esoteric. I hope it doesn't become too confusing because it is the perfect title!

I think you can see the possibilities and I remain energetic, excited, hopeful that good things are coming down the pike and I WILL OVERCOME THESE MINOR INCONVENINCES of not knowing what the heck I’m doing.



January 20, 2004


From: BunnySmedley ar ts 
Date: January 16, 2004

subject: de Laszlo exhibition

(1) My own site includes a review of the de Laszlo exhibition currently at
Christies, in case that\'s of any interest:

and (2) your site is absolutely excellent - an amazing resource. It can\'t have
been easy to put all this together and you deserve congratulations for all you
have done.

January 11, 2004

Boston Globe Gives JSS Gallery Node

"Let's say your interest in the erotic runs less to steaming streaming video of Paris Hilton and an old beau making the beast with two backs than to the more subtle sensuality of the artistic imagination. "Go to (or just to Google), type "Henri Gervex and Rolla" in the search field, and a few clicks later, you'll see a scene more artistically diverting than the Internet's explicit tour of Paris's lurid delights. Gervex's captivating painting brings to life a moment from a (once well-known) Alfred de Musset poem . . . "

So saith Scot Lehigh of the Boston Globe, January 11th, in his article Analog Art in a Digital Age

Sex sells. I knew it had to be something. When I looked at my hit meter it was off the charts and it took some backward linking to find out what was what

Thanks Scot . . . I think.


Lets see if I can return the favor


January 06, 2004


Letters to the Editor:

From: Gretchen Osgood
oz  fa

Hi Natasha,

My name is Gretchen Osgood and my daughter's name is Rachel. She was killed September 29, 2001 at the age of 3. My husband was hauling our camper and it broke loose. She was hit and there was nothing we could do. I've been researching lately about the afterlife and where she might be and doing and this picture came up. My mind has been spinning since I saw it. Is someone trying to tell me she's okay? Who knows but I just wanted to share with you this coincidence. I'm going to order the print as the oil
reproduction is beyond my budget.

I'm comforted a bit by all of this.

From: Mario Venutelli
Date: Friday, December 19, 2003

[english translation]

subject: Le opere di Sargent che riguardano le cave di marmo di Carrara in

Complimenti per il suo meraviglioso lavoro! La prego di darmi ogni ulteriore indicazione sulle opere di Sargent che hanno riguardato le cave di marmo di Carrara (Italia) ed eventuali informazioni sul suo soggiorno a Carrara.

So di chiederLe molto e Le sarò infinitamente grato. Stiamo preparando una
conferenza su Sargent a Carrara e abbiamo bisogno di tutti i libri e di tutte le
notizie relative. Siamo, quindi, disponibili ad acquistare le sue ed altre pubblicazioni in merito...

Grazie infinite e Buone Feste dalla città del Marmo e della Scultura.

Mario Venutelli
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 5

[Editor's English translation]
From: Mario Venutelli
ma  rv email_

subject: The works of Sargent that regard the quarry of marble at Carrara in Italy

Compliments for a wonderful job! I pray that you might be able to give an indication to me on the works of Sargent that regard the quarry of marble of Carrara (Italy) and any information on his stay at Carrara. I know this is asking a lot but would be infinitely grateful.

We are preparing a conference on Sargent for Carrara and have need of all the books and all the relevant information so that we can acquire these and other publications of merit.

Infinite thanks and Happy Festivities from the city of Marble and of Sculpture.

Mario Venutelli Via Alessandro Manzoni, 5 54033 CARRARA (MS) ITALY]

From: Natasha

(See responce)


January 05, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor:
From: Matt Davies Sent : Sunday, January 4, 2004 3:09 PM

Hi Natasha,

Some time ago you and I had an exchange regarding James Jebusa Shannon, and you had added his painting of Baroness de Meyer from the ARC to your site. I'm attaching a typed document of a 1906 article from Munsey's on Shannon and his art.

Talk to you soon,


From Natasha

I do remember our conversation regarding Shannon, and what you sent is wonderful! I went ahead and put a page together on Shannon, which I've been meaning to do for sometime now -- your article you sent just prompted me to get around to doing it.

From: Ian Townshend
email: ia  n300

Dear Natasha,

I am trying to find any referenced texts and/or pictures on the Fish Inn in Broadway for a university project. I would be very grateful if you could help me in any way,

Thanks, Ian Townshend

p.s. in the section on Broadway, photo 7 is of the doctors surgery!!

From Natasha:

The Fish Inn photo is from the Washington University Archives, St. Louis Missouri -- the Russell Sturgis Collection, "Box number 11" (box11-broadway.jpg)

I'm afraid I don't know much more than that.

What do you mean by photo 7 "is of the doctors surgery!!"? Is the photo not of a private residence? What is a "doctors surgery"?

From: Ian Townshend
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004

No it is not a private residence it is the local doctors. My father is a doctor there!

From : Brian Shapiro
br ian.s
Date:: Sunday, January 4, 2004

Recently, I found an image of a drawing by Sargent where he copies a famous painting by Hans Makart, called 'Moderne Amoretten' in German. Hans Makart was was a celebrity figure in Vienna, a painter, decorator, costume designer, and furniture designer, and an influence on Gustav Klimt, who worshipped him. Here is a link to an encyclopedic article I wrote about Makart:

Moderne Amoretten, which translates to Modern Amoretti, or Modern Cupids, was
one of the first paintings which made Makart famous.

I'm attatching Sargent's copy, and a black-and-white image of the original painting. Unfortunately, I don't currently have a color image--I can obtain one for you if you want, but its from a book printed in the 70s in which the colors are not sharp or detailed. But, following Makart's reputation as a "magician of colors", they're dazzling, the background behind the foliage in a gold color, and the foreground made of many different hues. It was also part of a set of three paintings, the others I'm not including, and Makart also designed the frame which contained all three.

I wouldn't be much additional help for the Sargent Gallery, though I'm putting together a webpage of my own on cultural history that will include many important but ingored artists, like Makart, Couture, Leys, Decamps, Henner, Chaplin, Ribot, Carriere, Bastien-Lepage, etc.

Lastly, I have a comment about one of the texts on your website which discussed how painters like Manet [Manet's Olympia in Jaxtaposition] and Gervex [Henri Gervex's Rolla] had to expose the hypocrisies of the Victorian era by depicting prostitution. Although this is a fairly standard take on what was happening, I think there is a common misunderstanding of the Victorian mindset regarding sexuality.

First of all, compared to today's standards, the Victorian standard regarding representation in art was much more rational. Nudes and sensuality were often depicted, even sex, all in modern settings--there is one painting by Gericault, for instance which shows lovers in a bed. What was disapproved of was ennobling wanton or morally dubious aspects of this in art. It wasn't limited to the avant-garde, Charles Chaplin, an academic painter had a painting called 'Ecstacy' which was barred from the Salon because the pose and expression was considered indecent. Bouguereau's 'The Return of Spring' caused many charges of indecency, as the woman looks in an orgasmic state. Manet and Gervex's paintings were disliked for similar reasons. Gervex romanticizes his maiden having just been deflowered, the man escaping after having intercourse. Manet's Olympia is a prostitute in a noble pose (one should also not underestimate the amount of criticism Manet recieved just because his painting was found ugly in terms of color and form). Consider today's standards, which are somewhat opposite and irrational. While on television we can show women in sexual dress, people having sex together under covers, etc, we can't show a sexless nude body. Also, although the Victorians didn't want prostitution ennobled in art, they were hardly blind to it. In fact, most governments of Europe, including France, licensed prostitutes, for many of the reasons legalization and licensing is being argued for today.

From: Natasha

Thanks Brian for your comments and additions

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with what you added regarding Manet & Gervex et al. The repulsion of the establishment to "ennobling wanton or morally dubious aspects . . . in art" was exactly what I was trying to say - we agree. And sure, there were previous moments in art when all hands were thrown skyward in disgust. So Manet was not some first by any means -- but he is a watershed -- a major watershed.

Taking about sex is always kind of dicey, and we always, or we tend to always look back and judge other times by our own standards of today's mores. We just assume that everyone, everywhere, at any time in history was just as obsessed with sex with every breathing moment that we are today -- that's pretty eago centric -- but that's us -- that's what we are today. We think we are so open and advanced now - what a joke. We have hypocrisies today as they had then, they are just different hypocrisies -- but that's not where I want this to head.

The thing is, and what I was trying to drive towards, was more of a class distinction -- a sociological economic class distinction of upper middle and up class attitudes towards sex with a lower class woman -- everybody did it (well maybe not everyone) but it was accepted with a wink and a nod as if THAT didn't count -- well, that's bullshit, to use the vernacular of the street.

So it was in this mode that Manet & Gervex were showing us how it really was. How dare Manet & Gervex breach the unspoken pact between men of "breeding".

In Olympia, you are right, of course. I don't think one can underestimate the repulsion of the flat "style" and color of Manet's work and how it was very much an important part of people's repulsion

I loved your comments and thanks for writing

Paintings added:

What's New Page Winter 2003

 (What's New Direcotory)