John Singer Sargent's Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester
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Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Watercolor, white gouache, and pen and brown ink on white wove paper
50.7 x 35.4 cm (actual) 
inscription: u.r., brown ink, brown ink, u.l.: John S. Sargent: Esher 1907
inscription: backboard, graphite?, brown ink, u.l.: John S. Sargent: Consuelo, Duchess of Manchester 
Gift of Grenville L. Winthrop, Class of 1886, 1942.53
 Jpg: Museums at Harvard
From: Stephanie
Date: 20 Jul 2001 

According to the Book, "The Gilded Cage," by Marian Fowler, Consuelo was 
described as:  

    "The most interesting of the five was Consuelo Yznaga, who, in a sense, beat the nobles at their own game. When she saw the lay of the land, and one might add, the lays of her husband, she simply kicked over the traces and adopted the men's morals for her own. She became the doyen of London society, had a 
    procession of lovers and was apparently adored for her charm and wit."  There will be more on Consuelo Yznaga soon. 

From: Stephanie
Date: 16 Nov 2001 

    Consuelo Yznaga was a beautiful Southern Belle who met a Duke who promised the world, but gave her nothing but heartache and pain.  She was an idealist and a woman who flout convention during her lifetime.  She was born in Louisiana in the late 1840s.  She was the daughter of Don Antonio Yznaga, who came to America from Cuba.  Her mother was a beautiful woman from upstate New York.  They made their home in Louisiana replete with slaves and servants and a plantation.  Her mother also flouted convention by showing her legs and smoke cigars.   

    Consuelo received a continental education, for she had gone to Paris to be finished at the court of Eugenie DE Montijo, also a beautiful woman of American and Spanish ancestry.  She came back to America in the late 1860s after the upheaval in France.  While her father was prospering, she was almost disgraced at a party when she didn't dressed appropriately for the occasion.   

    Sometime in mid 1870s, she had met the future Duke of Manchester at a resort in Upstate New York.  A few months later, they were married.  Among the bridal attendants was her friend, Alva Eskine Smith (Vanderbilt) whose daughter, Consuelo, married well into the British Aristocracy.  Consuelo and the Duke had three children, twin daughters and an heir.  Her husband was a philanderer and a big spender who was often in debt.    



Catalogue of Pictures and Water Colour Drawings by J. S. Sargent. R. A., auct. cat., Christie, Manson and Woods (London, England, 1925), no. 33

David McKibbin, Sargent's Boston, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA, 1956), p. 108, Check List of Sargent's Portraits

John Singer Sargent, His Own Work (New York, NY, 1980), in checklist, unpaginated


Sargent, John Singer (Creator). Created 1907, Sold at Sargent estate sale, Christie's, London 1925.

Christie, Manson, and Woods (Auction house). By order of Sargent's executors July 1925, Sold to Scott and Fowles July 24 1925.

Scott and Fowles (Dealer). Purchased at Sargent estate sale July 24 1925, Sold to Grenville L. Winthrop Jun 4 1926.

Winthrop, Grenville L. (Owner). Purchased from Scott and Fowles Jun 4 1926, Gift to Fogg Art Museum 1942

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