John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 21 in. (64.8 x 53.3 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Having decided to elucidate in the Boston Public Library decorations the origins of Western religion, Sargent visited Egypt, Greece, and Turkey to sketch and paint just after he received the commission in 1890. In fact, his wish to travel and his long-standing fascination with exotic places may have prompted him to contrive the complex library program, which, as an empiricist, he was obliged to render with as much authenticity as possible. Among the records of this trip in the Metropolitan's collection are portraits such as this one and "Egyptian Woman with Earrings" (50.130.22).
the artist, until died 1925; his sister, Violet Sargent (Mrs. Francis Ormond), London, 1925–1950