John Singer Sargent's Portrait drawing ("Mug") of Mrs. George Swinton
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Portrait drawing ("Mug") of Mrs. George Swinton
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Private collection
Charcoal on white paper, "Mug" 
61 x 47.6 cm (24 x 18 3/4 in.)
Inscribed, signed and dated: "To my friend Mrs. Swinton/John S. Sarsgent 1906"
Jpg: Wendy & Gordon Hawksley


Mrs. George SwintonJohn had painted Elsie Swinton (Mrs. George Swinton) in 1897. Elsie had married Captan George Swinton two years previous ('95). The Swintons were friends with a number of painters including Sargent. Others of note were William Orpen  -- who did a family portrait for the Swintons, and Walter Richard Sickert (1)

Sargent was an admirer of Elsie's singing voice and he attended a concert which she gave in 1906 to launch her career as a professional singer. The Swintons approached Sargent about doing a promorional drawing of her. He replied on May 17th:(1)

    I will be delighted to do a black and white sketch of you to be reproduced for your nefarious purposes whatever they are. It is a thing I have wanted to do, so please consider it as an offering handed to you across the footlights, delicious sensations! in a large bouguet with enormouse ribbons. I have a free morning tomorrow Friday. Would you come at 11 with your throat bared to the winds? or Monday morning?

    (Exhibition catalouge  "John Singer Sargent  and the Edwardian Age, Leeds", London and Detroit, 1979, p 79; Quoted in the catalogue of  Society Portraits 1850 - 1939"' )

London, Pastel Society, 1907 number 190;
Leeds, Lotherton Hall; London National Portrait Gallery; Detroit, Institute of Arts, John Singer Sargent and the Edwardian Age, 1979, number 62.

Thanks to Wendy & Gordon Hawksley of Sheffield, England, friends of the JSS Gallery,  for sending me the image and information above.


From: Wendy & Gordon Hawksley
<g w @ whawksley. fsnet. co. uk> 
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 

"'Society Portraits 1850 - 1939' - this was an exhibition held at the Colnaghi Gallery and the Clarendon Gallery in London from 30 October to 14 December 1985.

John Singer Sargent, An Exhibition -- Whitney Museum, NY & The Art Institute of Chicago 1986-1987 

  • See the year in review 1906

By:  Natasha Wallace
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Created 4/17/2002