(69 years old)
In England he
paints his last oil
portrait in January -- Grace Elvina.
He works on the
in his Fulham
studio completing them by March 22nd.
" . . .the spring of
[John and his sister Emily] in London, preparing to sail together on
the 18th of April, for Boston.
"The dome was long
and the last decorations for the staircase leading to it were either
in Boston or on the water. Two portraits, Lady Curzon and Mr. George
[n/a], had been sent to the Royal Academy, and on Tuesday, the 14th,
made a portrait drawing of Princess Mary.
"His work was done.
"The next day his
packing was to
begin, a really dreadful undertaking, for he did it himself with
and care, doing and undoing, dreading and hating it, and enjoying his
over the pure cussedness of inanimate objects. He dined with his
who had gathered together some of their intimates for a farewell. He
in high spirits, 'genial and wonderful,' one of his guest wrote, 'never
in a better form, and waving good night to us as he walked away from
A shower came on, and Mr. Nelson-Ward overtook him in a taxi and made
drive the short distance to Trite Street. 'Au revoir in six months,'
Sargent at the door. His servants heard him moving about for a while;
a little the house fell quiet.
"And then the end
came, 'on a midnight
without pain,' we may believe. In the morning he was found, sitting up
on his pillows, reading lamp still burning, an open volume of Voltaire
fallen from his hand. Death had found him -- conscious, active, ready;
calmly he answered the summons and was gone from us for ever."
Newbold Patterson Hale, The world Today, November 1927)
On April 15th,
1925, John Singer
Sargent died of degenerative heart disease, three months after his 69th
April 18th, his
body is taken by
special train from Paddington Station to Brookwood
Cemetery, Woking, twenty miles from London. It is a private burial.
On his tombstone is inscribed “Laborare Est Orare” -- Labor is
On April 24th a
is held at Westminster Abbey.
From the cudgeling
of Viollet's husband
Ormond that Sargent's work could not get more valuable, Sargent's
contents are put up for action by Christie's in London on July 24th and
27th. The sale realized 175,000 ponds (Olson estimates over 2,400,000
in 1980's equivalent). Included in the sale, but above and beyond
own work were an amazing collection of other artist's work he admired
owned, such as Abbey, Brabazon, de
John Parsons, Rodin,
Tiepolo, Besnard, Boldini, Carolus-Duran,
MacEvoy, Lavery, Mancini, Monet,
and Annie Swynnertons.
Shocked at the high
prices that his
personal work is going for, his sisters halt the auction and try to buy
back his work. Not needing the money, they take out ads in Europe and
United States advertising that any museum can have them donated so that
all the public can see and own them.
On November 3rd,
the stairwell decorations
are unveiled at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with a memorial service.
exhibition is held at
the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and at the Royal Academy, London.
the Memorial catalogue is a list of thirty decorations and degrees
to Sargent in America, Belgium, Germany, France, and England.