Percy Grainger
John Singer Sargent -- American painter  
1907? [1]
Charcoal on paper
 Jpg: Friends of the JSS Gallery

From: National Gallery of Australia
The Edwardians: Secrets and Desires

Percy Grainger (1882–1961), a famous pianist, composer and conductor, was born in Australia and later gained American citizenship. “From 1901, he was based in London, where he became popular at

Jacques-Emile Blanche

Percy Grainger



Edwardian salons because of his exceptional good looks (Jacques-Emile Blanche portrayed his thick curly, reddish blond hair and piercing blue eyes) and his ability to enliven events with his effervescent high spirits and outrageous behaviour. He made extensive tours with the Australian contralto Ada Crossley in 1903 and 1908, and was a friend of Nellie Melba. He moved to America in 1914. Best known for lighter works such as Country Gardens, he was also a pioneer of electronic music and the ?rst Australian composer to include Asian in?uences within his compositions.

Blanche painted Grainger, “aged 24, at the height of his London success. He had just started work on collecting and arranging English folk songs, pioneering the use of the Edison wax cylinder recorder. 1906 was also the year that Grainger met Edvard Grieg, who greatly admired his playing. On 14 June 1906, the British–Australasian reported proudly of the Australian musician: ‘Mr. Percy Grainger’s settings of three old Lincolnshire songs. . . have been most favourably received in all quarters. . . This evening Mr. Grainger is playing at Mrs. Charles Hunter’s At Home, and tomorrow at Mrs. Wodehouse’s musical evening at 21, Sloane-gardens, S.W.M.  Jacques Blanche, the well-known French artist, is painting Mr. Grainger’s portrait.’”

Special thanks to Wendy & Gordon Hawksley Sheffield, England and friends of the JSS Gallery for help finding this image 

1) Wendy & Gordon didn't include the date of the drawing from their source, and the drawing itself is not dated. The Hawksley's have found a letter from from Percy's mother that puts Sargent at  dinner party in January of 1908. This drawing may have been with others he did of artists he enjoyed such as some of the musicians he drew in 1907. It also seems to have been pretty close to Jacques-Emile Blanche painting of Percy so this could have been earlier than '07.
  • See the year in review 1907

Created 4/3/2006