John Singer Sargent's Ramón Subercaseaux   (Frontpage)  (What's New)  (Thumbnail Index)  (Refer This Site)

Ramón Subercaseaux 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
c. 1880 
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Memphis, Tennessee 
Oil on canvas
47 x 63.5 cm (18 1/2 x 25 in)
Gift of Cornelia Ritchie Bivins 1996.2.13
 Jpg: Friend of the JSS Gallery 
Born in Valparaiso which is right on the coast and not too far from the capital, Ramón (1854-1937) was the Chilean Counsul to Paris. At twenty-six years old he was only two years older than John. Ramón was active in the artistic community, cultivating a number of friends. He was himself an amateur artist.  

His career was quite successful, holding positions as Minister to Germany and Italy and then Ambassador to the Vatican and eventually becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs back home. He wrote a number of books and owned a vineyard which produced, supposedly, some remarkable wines. 

He had been in Paris since '74 (at the age of 20) and had only just married his beautiful bride Amalia Errazuriz y Urmeneta the previous year. Their first contact with Sargent was after the '79 Salon when the newlyweds were looking for a portrait artist for his new wife.  
Sargent seems to have hit it off with both. They obviously loved the portrait he did. When John later found himself in Venice, he ran into Amalia and Ramón who had honeymooned there previously and the two men shared studio space at the Palazzo Rezzonico. 
In this painting, the two share a covered gondola and, according to Ramón's son -- Luis Subercaseaux, the two were in the process of painting each other which they would exchange as gifts 
(Ormond & Kilmurray, Early Portraits, pp. 89-90) 
Special thanks to Robert W. Torchia, PhD, curator at the Dixon Gallery in Memphis and a friend of the JSS Gallery, for sending me the image of Sargent's painting.  

Madame Ramon Subercaseaux 
nee Amalia Errazuriz y Urmeneta  
(wife of Ramón) 

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 1/23/2004
Updated 08/23/2004


Puppet Shows

Puppet Shows