American sculpture (1848-1907)
50 x 34 in.
Gift of Rose Pitman
Augustus Saint-Gaudens first met
Violet Sargent at a party at William
Merrit Chases' 10th street studio in New York. He was so taken by her
that he asked if she would sit for him. In exchange, her bother John Singer
Sargent agreed to do a painting for Saint-Gaudens.
It is highly probable that Saint-Gaudens'
bronze of Violet is reminiscent of the party of their first meeting --
one inwhich John had hired the Spanish Gypsy dancer La Carmencita to perform
and bring to life John's earlier painting of El Jaleo -- a Gypsy dancer
accompanied by a line of flamenco guitar players. Violet herself, may have
participated in that line of of players on that famous night, and Saint-Gaudens
here, in this depiction of her, might be playing tribute to both of them
for that enjoyable and famous night.
From: The Gilded Age
Augustus Saint-Gaudens drew from
many historical and contemporary sources to create this portrait of [John's
sister]. She is seated on a bench derived from classical Greek architecture
and is playing a guitar . . . The low relief bronze recalls Renaissance
sculpture, and the frame is decorated with chrysanthemums, the symbol of
The portrait of his wife and son
by the painter, now in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.