Sally Fairchild with Blue Veil 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter  
Formally with Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago 
 76.2 x 64.8 cm (30 x 25.5 in.) 

This painting is one of many which sargent painting of Sally Fairchild. this one is so wonderfully mysterious with the veil over her face. John was on very good terms with her parents and felt no restraints about being creative. He had known the family at least since 1887 when he did his first flurry of American paintings in the United States. 

When John brought his sister Violet to the States (1889-1890) in the attempt to introduce her to more suitable American men (in their mother's eyes) they stayed as guests of the Fairchilds for a time and went yachting in the summer of '90. They also spent time with Saint-Gauden. The two artists had exchanges portraits -- he of John's sister, and John of Saint-Gauden's wife and child. It would be during this time that he did an immense number of portraits of friends and acquaintances. Dennis Miller Bunker off handily remarked in astonishment that Sargent must have "done a hundred portraits" during the summer of 1890 (Olson n. p168). 

It was during this summer that this painting of Sally Fairchild with Blue Veil was made and shows John uninhibited with hist frequent model for the season. 


Offered Christie's; 5/25/89; Lot 248; estimated $650,000-$850,000 

  • See the year in review 1890

From: Sally Connelly
<c_ sa>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 

Sally Fairchild is one of my ancestors.  She was the grandaughter of Jairus C. Fairchild, first Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin and niece of my ancestor Governor Lucius Fairchild.  Her father was a friend of Sargent and he arranged for Sargent to do an oil of his brother the Governor of Wisconsin and diplomat Lucius Fairchild.  Her sister, the artist, Lucia Fairchild Fuller is buried in the family plot in Madison.  I have been trying to  trace her and was so glad you placed this portrait on the internet.  

 Do you know where the portrait is now?  

 Sally Connelly  
 Cincinnati, OHIO  

From: Natasha 
Date: 10/10/2001 

This painting, of course is/or was at the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, it was offered for sale through Christie's -- 5/25/89. If it sold I don't know where it is at. The other I don't know as well.  

From: Sally Connelly
<c_ sa>
Date: 10/10/2001 

Thanks for your note.  I recommend Blair Fuller's book, "Art in the Blood,"  he is a direct descendent of Lucia Fairchild Fuller.  I contacted the Terra  Museum but they said the portrait is no longer in their collection.  

Thanks for your note  

Portrait of Elizabeth Nelson Fairchild
(mother to Sally Fairchild)

Portrait of Sally Fairchild
c. 1885-1887 (?)

Sally Fairchild profile sketch 

 Created 2/28/2001