-- American painter
x 134.22 cm (90 x
54 1/4 in.)
Jpg: ARC / Hermes Project
apparently an very
interesting and colorful character, a highly spirited Spanish Gypsy
who performed all over Europe and on the east coast of the United
Sargent had first met her in 1889 in Paris. When he sees her again,
time in New York, he talks her into letting him paint her. She turned
to be a very difficult sitter for him and had a hard time keeping her
Carmencita in U.S., John had gone with his old friend and his wife to
her perform in New York. John got excited and wrote Isabella
Stewart Gardner whom had fallen in love with John's very passionate
Spanish painting El Jaleo which he painted in 1882 and which
now owned as one of her pinnacle art pieces of her collection.
you have her at your house in Fifth Avenue? If so, might I go and see
the floor or carpet would be good, and whether there is a chandelier
which she would have to break her head. It would have to be about
o'clock at night, after the performance," he wrote to her in haste .
agreed and John checked out the room -- it would not do. The
he hand in mind for her had to be perfect and either through Isabella's
efforts or John's the arrangements to hold the party were made with
Merrit Chases' 10th street studio which was, in John's words "a capital
big place" .
John took command
of the room, possibly
with the help of his sister Violet who was with him. Like a stage
they arranged the chairs for Isabella and the other guest, dousing the
room lights except for a very deliberate row of low kerosene-lamps in
of his makeshift stage with their shades tilted to shine the flickering
fame upward. When his attention moved to Carmencita's makeup, she
became upset by all the fuss that JSS was going through, and it took
flirting with her to bring her spirits around to a mood for performing.
de glen, then Jane Emmett, was present with her sister, and has
the scene. Sargent whom she had never seen before was seated on the
The studio was dimly lighted; at the end of the room was just such a
as he had represented in El Jaleo. Carmencita, a light thrown on her
below, now withering like a serpent, now with an arrogant elegance,
the stage with a shadowy row of guitarists in the background strumming
their heady Spanish music. 
Carmencita moved with
the cadence of
the guitars, her skirt flowing, playing to the audience and when she
near, she threw a rose to her admirer on the shadowy floor behind the
John picked it up, broke the stem short and slid it through the
of his jacket. 
In Charles Merril
of Sargent, he speculates that Carmencita may have been a possible
but I find this unlikely from what I've learned. What is probably more
accurate is that their public flirtations would be just in line with
personality and their friendship and not any real indication of a
John, it turns out,
wouldn't be the
only painter of Carmencita. Both William
Merritt Chase and James
Beckwith also did portraits of her -- and from the pictures that
both appear to be done around the same time.
This is one of 4
drawings that Harvard
has which Sargent did of Carmencita. This face portrait drawing was
done with her stage makeup still on giving her a more stark appearance
Head of Carmencita
on off-white laid paper
x 20.3 cm (actual)
of Fine Arts, Boston
- 1) Charteris'
p. 111, quoting from
W.H. Downes, "John Sargent," p.31, in turn citing H.J. Brock, New
- 2) John Singer
Sargent letter to Isabella
Stewart Gardner, undated, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; quoted in
book p. 162, he attributes a date to March
Charteris'; p. 111
Charteris'; p. 112, quotes
Mrs. de Glehn who saw what happen.
- See the year
thru 1888 when JSS paints Isabella Stewart Gardner
- El Jaleo
- Learn more
dancing and music
- Image source: "Non-literary texts: The Spanish Dancer `La Carmencita` ." Literature
and Culture Teaching Database (文學與文化教學資料庫). 2004.
Hermes Database Project 匯文網資料庫計畫. 22 Dec, 2004 < http://hermes.hrc.ntu.edu.tw/lctd/
Wallace and Stephanie
Date: 13 December 2001
Thomas Edison known
for his inventions
of the Phonograph, the electric light bulb, and commercialization
of electricity was also a pioneer of moving pictures. In the late
1880s, Edison came up with the Kinetoscope which gave an individual
a 30 - 60 second show based on a silent film loop.
make it commercially popular he opened a studio in 1893 to create
little films he could sell as exhibitions for his Kinetoscope.
acts and popular dancers were the primary subjects. Of the dancers,
of the notable ones were Chrissie Sheridan, Ella Lola, Annabel
and the famous Carmencita. In many cases these films were then
Many of these films
risque, even bawdy, showing the legs of this dancer whom is thought to
have been Carmencita, though I (Natasha) personally wonder if it is or
So saith the
Edison Art Company website.
I want to thank
Stephanie for sending
me this link.
Date: Mon, 17 Mar
I just went to the Manet,Valesques
show at the Met and saw the footage Edison took of
You were right. The image on the site isn't her. In the
of Carmencita she is wearing the an outfit like Chase
and Sargent painted and playing casstinets. She does a little
step and a couple of very strange, cool turns. It's less like
than it is like Spanish traditional or classical dance. Based on
that footage JS Sargent made her way cooler than she was in real life.
Probably it's all
about the lighting.
I got all my
flamenco friends to
come see your site. We all love it. And it's really fun to
turn people onto Sargent.