John Singer Sargent -- Letters  (Frontpage)

From Sargent to Ralph Curtis 1894

Ralph Curtis on the Beach at Scheveningen

From: 33, Tite Street

My Dear Ralph,

Thanks for your flourish of trumpets and waving of caps -- If one lives in London, as I seem to be doing vaguely, I suppose it really counts for something to be an A.R.A.  It remains to be proved; but I shall watch for the symptoms with interest. I have no end of letters and congratulation from Academicians which would point to the fact of my having more of an affinity with the old fogies than I expected.   Today I have called on 20 of them, such is the tradition and it is a curious revelation to find the man whose name and work one has hated and railed at for years, is a man of the world and altogether delightful -- for instance Sant, whom one considered the Antichrist.[1]

It is characteristic of you to have saved a sketch of mine from oblivion, and ______'s approval tickles me although I consider him a noxious humbug -- I came across a phrase in my pious reading that must apply to his book which i haven't read: "ce lire cheri des begomiles de Thrace et des cathares de l'occident." This, like another quotation from me, that you once investigated at a tea party may be obscene so look out.

Yours sincerely

John S. Sargent

(Letter to Ralph Curtis, quoated in Charteris; p. 141)

James Sant, British painter (1820-1916)
Appointed Principal Painter to the Queen in 1871. Sant was born on 23 April 1820 in Croydon, he studied under John Varley and A. W.Callcott before entering the Royal Academy, London schools in 1840. Between 1840 and 1915 he regularly exhibited portraits and sentimental genre scenes at the Royal Academy, London; elected Associate Royal Academician, London 1861 and Royal Academician 1869, retiring in 1914.  He died in London on 2 July 1916. (The Wallace Collection)