John S. Sargent
Max Beerbohm -- British
writer and caricaturist (1872-1956)
Tate Gallery, London
Graphite and pen with
16 x 8 1/2 in
Jpg: Friend of the JSS
appeared in the Christmas Supplement of the
British magazine The World (1900). It would be Beerbohm's first
caricature of Sargent. By the turn of the century, John had a commanding
reputation as the preeminent portraitist. Here, Max lampoons him -- very
much against character type -- as the conceited king of all artists.
the joke would be to understand Sargent's real personality. In a letter
from Gertrude Bell to her mother, in March of 1904, might give you
. . .I have been making
friends, in a modest way, with Sargent whom I like particularly. He is
incredibly unspoilt, simple and natural and outgoing. I spent a morning
in his studio the other day - he wanted me to see a portrait he was painting.
I liked the portrait very much and the painter still more. . .
The truth is that when he is at his best no one can touch him, and he generally
is perfectly aware himself when he is not. .
Gertrude Bell Archive, letter: Sunday, 20 March 1904 To Florence Spring-Rice
nee Lascelles -- Rounton Grange, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, Emgland.)
Special thanks to Wonsug Jung, of
Korea, a friend
of the JSS Gallery, for originally getting this image onto the net.