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Two Women in a Café

Artist:
John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Date:
late 1880s
Medium:
Charcoal on off-white wove paper
Dimensions:
8 11/16 x 11 1/8 in. (22.1 x 28.3 cm) Mat: 14 1/4 × 19 1/4 in. (36.2 × 48.9 cm) Framed (standard exhibition frame): 16 1/4 × 21 1/4 × 1 1/8 in. (41.3 × 54 × 2.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950
Accession Number:
50.130.118
Not on view
Though friends described Sargent as shy and retiring, he was also very social and went out nearly every night. This informal sketch probably shows his childhood friend Flora Priestley (1859–1944) with an unidentified woman. The table and loosely drawn cups, represented by a few quick lines, suggest that the setting is a café. The relaxed and confident poses of the two elegantly attired figures seated on a banquette may imply that they are "new women" who are not concerned with breeching decorum by smoking in public.
Inscription: [on verso at lower left]: [zigzag lines]
the artist, until d. 1925; his sisters, Mrs. Francis Ormond (Violet Sargent) and Miss Emily Sargent, until 1936 (Emily Sargent's death); Mrs. Francis Ormond, until 1950
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