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Head of Ana-Capri Girl 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
 Oil on canvas
Jpg: The Pragmatic Romanticist

 From: David Hyde 
<r2h y>
Date: 11/13/2000

I sent an extract from your web site on my uncle Frank Hyde and Sargent to Frank's grand-daughter Mrs Elizabeth Miller. She very kindly posted me some extracts from some notes of Franks which may interest your forum readers: 


David Hyde. 

by Frank Hyde

The Honourable  Even Charteris K.C. in his life of  John Sargent R.A mentions among other things my  introducing Rosina to Sargent. Rosina was  the daughter of an Anacapri woman a descendant of that blood-thirsty pirate Barbàrossa. 

It was the artist seeking new types and views to paint who first discovered Anacapri. The Anacapriotes were almost isolated from the rest of the island on account of the dangerous approach to their village, for a slip on the roughly hewn steps meant being hurled 1,000 feet to the rocks below. So small a colony were they that they were all related one to the other; you could see at a glance that they were a distinct type for the strain of the Arab was very marked in them. 

Rosina, the model, discovered by a French painter named Chatran, was about  fourteen; she soon became a great favourite with all the artists; very quick to understand the pose required of her, and able to speak French fluently. There were only three resident English painters on the Island, but many noted French artists (1)

Sargent, who had only just arrived in Capri, chatting one day in my studio, asked me if I could find him a model of a particular type; he explained what he wanted. I at once thought of 'Rosina'; when he saw her he was so fascinated with her that he made three studies in profile of her, all of which he painted in my studio; one he signed and gave to me [thumbnail], one his sister possessed and was in an exhibition of his work in Burlington House [this painting -- top], but what became of the other I didn't know.  I tried my hardest to trace it, for I felt sure that it was still to be discovered in Capri. To show how casual Sargent was about his work, I saw in his little bedroom at the Grand Marina stacks of these studies on the floor, and even on his bed. 

Here is an instance: 

I remember he and I were one day in the local carpenter's shop, and to more fully explain what he wanted, took from a sheaf of pochard  boards he had under his arm one, but having no paper he drew on it a design of the alteration he wanted made to his studio window and left it with Archangelo the carpenter. Many months afterwards I saw on the floor in this same shop amidst a mass of shavings and dirty rubbish the board Sargent had used; picking it up and removing the dirt I found a most delightful sketch of an olive orchard; Archangelo said that he had no further use for it, and gave it to me. 

Editor's Notes

Charles-Edmond Daux and Eugene Bach were two French artists in Capri that summer, both were students in Alexandre Cabanel atelier in Paris; all three (including Sargent) exhibited works at the Salon of 1879 showing paintings from their Capri trip; and both Daux and Sargent used Rosina as a model.

I'm not sure who the three English artist might have been. certainly Frank Hyde was was counting himself as one. Was he counting Sargent as number 2?

M. Elizabeth Boone, Espana: American Artists and the Spanish Experience, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, 1988, pp. 92, n.94


Great Expectations: John Singer Sargent Painting Children; 2004-2005

From: Natasha 
Date: 11/13/2000

“May” interest my readers? Gosh, David, I can only speak for myself but this is huge! – this is fantastic! And I’m most grateful to you and you family for sharing this with us. 

As a side bar, do you know, off hand, of any images of Frank Hyde’s work that I might add to my
site and even a little more biographical information on him (that is if you are interested) so that I could
highlight Frank somewhat.

see side bar -- starting a website on Frank Hyde.



Sargent's Women,  Adelson Galleries, New York, 2003

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created: 12/29/1999