John Singer Sargent's President Woodrow Wilson    (Frontpage)  (What's New)  (Thumbnail Index)  (Refer This Site)

Sir Hugh Lane  
President Woodrow Wilson 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Oil on canvas
153 x 109.2 cm (60 1/4 x 43 in.)
signed: ul John Singer Sargent
ur: 1917
 Jpg: local 
President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) twenty-eighth president of the United States.  

In 1917 JSS paints the President but unlike what you might assume, the painting isn't owned inside the United States but is owned by the National Gallery of Ireland. The reason for this is explained in Sargent's own words in a letter to Mrs. Gardner he wrote around the time of the portrait:  

All I know is that Hugh Lane took up an idea started by another man (who repented) that he would give 10,000 pounds to the Red Cross if I would paint his portrait (the first man's). Hugh Lane of course had some other idea about whose portrait it was to be. Then Hugh Lane was drowned [in the Lusitania]. He had left his estate to the Nat. Gallery of Ireland, who had handed over the 10,000 pounds to the Red Cross in 1916 and have lately decided the portrait should be that of President Wilson.  

(P. 255 Olson, letter from JSS to Mrs. Gardner) 

Apparently, this time around, Sargent had a more enjoyable time painting the President then when he was struggling with Teddy. In a letter to Mary Hale, October 20, 1917 he described the differences. 

President Theodore Roosevelt 

Sargent's painting of Woodrow Wilson was copied many time with Sargent's consent. One such copy was done by Tmothy Cole which was widely printed. 

Timothy Cole 
Woodcut President Wilson 
After Sargent 


  Forum Pop it

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2005 all rights reserved
Created 1/23/2004