John Singer Sargent's Profile Portrait of James Carroll Beckwith
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Mark Twain 

A Model's Breakfast 

Portrait of William Merritt Chase 

Sampling of Work  
by Beckwith 

An American Queen, 1890, charcoal and pastel on paper, private collection. 

In the Stage Light   30" x 25" 
The Embroiderer   16" x 9.7" 
Sun Dappled Gate   10" x 13.2" 
Sold by William Doyle Galleries; 5/24/2000; $6,000 

Untitled Church Scene   13.6" x 6.2" 

Brunette Combing Her Hair   16" x 10 

Peasant Against Hay   18" x 12" 
Carmencita   32" x 25.5" 

Nude   9.5" x 5.5" 
Lost in Thought    
11" x 14.5" 

A Study With Sunlight    
8.5" x 4.2"  
Statues in the Fountain    
13.7" x 10.2" 

Miss Sophie and Miss Helen    
46" x 38" 
Twilight, Villa Rurpon    
20.2" x 24.2 
Portrait of Florence Nesbitt   40" x 25.7" 

Woman with Guitar   15.5" x 13 
 The Falconer   51" x 38" 

Afternoon Idyll   18.2" x 24.2 

Mother and Child   48.2" x 28.2 

Woman at Spinet   18.7" x 23.7 
The Boathouse in Central Park   15.7" x 9.7 
Under the Lilacs   24" x 19" 
Spanish Dancer   14" x 10.5" 
The Straw Hat   8.2" x 6.2 
Portrait of Evelyn Nesbitt   31" x 26.5 

In the Yellow Light   9.7" x 7.5 
Pierrette   16" x 12.1" 
Study of a Fountain   9.5" x 7.5 

A Study With Sunlight   8.5" x 4.2" 

Profile Portrait of James Carroll Beckwith 
June 1874 
Sargent at Harvard 
Graphite on gray wove paper 
22.9 x 15.2 cm (actual) 
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond 
Inscription: l.r., graphite: J. C. Beckwith / June 1874  
verso, l.r., graphite: 1937.8.3 
 Jpeg: Sargent at Harvard

James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) was another American artist at Carolus-Duran's atelier. Having been there prior to Sargent, Beckwith already knew a number of the expatriate American students -- many of whom came from the New York National Academy of Design.  

(See Beckwith's account of meeting Sargent) 

James Carroll Beckwith 
John Singer Sargent -- drawn from Life 1876 

John and Carroll (Beckwith hated using his first name) became fast and dear friends and would share studio space in Paris. It would be through Beckwith that Sargent quickly became acquainted with the other expatriates. 

Carroll was four years older than John. He was born in Hannibal Missouri (the same town Mark Twain came from) but grew up in Chicago where his father started a business. In 1868 he studied art at the Chicago Academy of Design under Walter Sherlaw until the great fire of 1871 destroyed eveything (including much of the heart of the city). He then went to New York and studied at the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth, but eventually, like many other students, traveled on to Europe to learn from the Mecca of the art world -- Paris --  arriving there in November, 1873 (six months before John). 

Like John, his timing wasn't good. The ateliers were mostly filled having resumed in October to coincide with the term of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Beckwith tried two other ateliers before finding space at Carolus-Duan's. 

In 1877, Carolus-Duran picked both Sargent and Beckwith to help him with the mural decoration work for the Palais du Luxembourg, The triump of Maria de Medici. 

In the Summer of 1878, Carroll  left Paris and returned to the United States. He eventually became an associate member of the National Academy of Design (don't know if he ever became a full member) and taught at the Cooper Union. 

He married Bertha Hall, June 1, 1887, and Sargent gave them a Venetian watercolor as a present.  

Beckwith took an active part in the formation of the Fine Arts Society and was president of the National Free Art league which worked to secure the repeal of the US duty on works of Art into the United States. Among his portraits are those of W.M. Chase (1882) (Sargent painted Chase), X. Jordan (1883),  
Mark Twain, T.A. Janvier, Gen John Schofield, and William Walton.  

Beckwith received many awards including Honorable Mention at the Paris Exposition of 1889 and a Gold Medal at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. He exhibited at the St. Louis Worlds Fair (1904) showing  "The Nautilus" along with a portrait of his wife -- Mrs. Beckwith. 

Carroll returned to paris in 1893 to paint a number of murals and then back for murals in the Liberal Arts Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  He lived in Italy from 1910 to 1914 and painted many plein-air studies of monuments, buildings, and landscapes.  

He died in New York City on October 24, 1917 

This is one of  Sargent's longest friendships. Beckwith visited John in London and they see each other when he was in the States. 

Most of this information comes from Olson's book which shows 28 references between the pages of 40 and 266. Also, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 3, William Benton, 1962, P.291 


By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2002 all rights reversed
Updated 10/21/2002