I have found in
your thumbnail gallery
page 1, 'Oyster Gatherers of Cancale' is wrongly referred to as a
of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
But this image is
a sketch version
(you can tell it quickly by the hair color of the boy on the right
and belongs to the MFA.
Thanks Wonsug. I
myself had noticed
a discrepancy and that there are two paintings of this, but I didn't
the other was at the BMFA. I always have seen the one at the Corcoran
in books. You say this is a sketch? but it looks like a full finished
to me, at least in the image here. It's interesting to note the people
in the background frame right are different as well between the two
So if this is the
when was it painted and what's its size, do you know?
The fun thing
about this is there
are a million tiny little questions like this.
I think I might
have used the word
'sketch' too roughly, and it really looks like a full finished
but both Ratcliff's book and the retrospective catalogue refers to it
It was painted in
the same year as
the final version, and in the catalogue it is entitled 'Fishing for
at Cancale', the size of which is 41 x 61 cm(16 1/8 x 24 in). In
book its title is the same with the final version and I don't remember
what it was entitled in the BMFA where it hangs.
There is also a
the size of the Washington's version between Ratcliff's and the
(31 x 48 1/2 vs 38 1/8 x 48 1/2)
Calling it a
"'sketch' or a "study"
would be appropriate and I think the size of the paintings is the most
telling here. This painting is much smaller than the final version
x 123.2 cm (31 1/8 x 48 1/2 in.). I have seen Sargent do oil "sketches"
before with other major paintings in the early years. At the Nelson
Art Gallery in Kansas City, there is a smaller "study" of Spanish
(1883) (n/a) and it is appropriately titled Spanish Dance study
Ratcliff's book. It's a
wonderful book at getting an overview of Sargent's life and work but I
am finding countless little inaccuracies that aren't that significant
the "big picture" but still don't jive with most "established"
If there is any discrepancy with anything, I think you should hold the
Ratcliff book as suspect.
_ of email@example.com
Just how many oil
paintings of oyster
gatherers are there and where can I find color photos of them? I know
had done a few oil sketches and I have seen them some where but cannot
That's a good
question, but I only
remember seeing this one and the finished painting which makes a total
of two oils and only one oil-sketch. You might try Carter Ratcliff's
look under Books.
you very much for replying so quickly. The sketches I am talking
about are for instance, a woman standing alone. I have seen some of
but cannot remember where. If you don't know thats fine.
image added later]
So I wonder are
those close-ups of
this study or are they separate studies -- anyone?
Ratcliff's book has three B/W plates of figure study for the Oyster
of Cancale. Two are female studies and one is male study, and they are
in Terra Museum of American Art, Evanston, Illinois. As far as I know,
Ratcliff's is the only book which contains these plates, I haven't
Fairbrother's yet, though. Richard Ormond's book published in 1970 has
plate of another oil study of the whole scene (8 3/4 X 11 1/2 inches
whose location is unknown).
He also comments
about an oil study
for one of the oyster gatherers, which was in the collection of Ralph
and reproduced in Art Quarterly, XX(1957), 307, fig. 7, where it is
identified, and a pencil study of another figure which is in the Fogg
Here is a quote
catalogue written by Carol Troyen:
prepared for his
Salon entry in the academically sanctioned manner, engaging models and
making a number of studies of single figures (Harvard University Art
Terra Museum of American Art) before settling on the final arrangement
as represented in Boston's version.'
copy of the Oyster
of cancale/ john
Date: Wed, 27 Feb
I recently bought a
copy of the
above mentioned painting at a charity event, here in the UK. I always
it was a copy, because the original is at the Corcoran Gallery of Arts
Boston. But having read your email replies it appears that there may be
other originals still around. My picture is an oil on canvas, and is
John S Sargent, should I take it to an expert?
Date Fri, 1 Mar 2002
are literally scads
of these paintings (Oyster Gatherers of Cancale by John Singer Sargent)
floating around out there. Most are just copies done by other painters
at the Prado). Very few (let's recap: there is this one at the
of Fine Arts Boston, the one at the Corcoran Gallery; then the one that
is mentioned in Richard Ormond's 1970 book -- location unknown, and
the one that was owned by Ralph Curtis for full copies) if but only
(that I know of) are REALLY by John Singer Sargent. Out of all the
at my site, Oyster Gatherers continues to be the most asked about
regarding additional copies.
I always refer
people to my response
Sure there is a
yours is another copy by the REAL John Singer Sargent. I really don't
enough to say.
About a year ago
I received a letter
from a gentleman wondering whether Sargent might have used the painting
as a model for the Royal Academy schools and he was wondering about the
possibility that students might have painted it, or copied it, in one
their classes. I wish I had saved the letter because it raises an
possibility; and it needs to be investigated.
Since you are in
the UK why don't
you look into this for us. Why don't you contact the Royal Academy and
see if you can do some digging on what they know about Sargent teaching
Hope to hear back
Alan 16 firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 1 Mar
2002 16:04:02 EST
Thank you for
your very informative
reply, . . I wasn't aware that John Sargent had studied at
The Royal Academy here
in the UK., I will certainly get in touch with them to verify if, at
he used this particular painting to train his students. I will send you
my findings in the near future.
Date Fri, 1 Mar 2002
Sargent wasn't a
student at the Royal
Academy, he was an instructor (that's why he might have used his
as a model). After his election to Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA)
in 1894, he taught one month every winter. I'm not exactly sure how
that lasted but he was still teaching in 1907 (don't know if those 13
were without interruption or if he taught beyond 1907), and he would
in to the schools often.
the communal search
all my best