John Singer Sargent's Spanish Male Dancer before Seated Figures
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Spanish Male Dancer before Nine Seated Figures (recto);
Fragment of Store Receipt from Villasante, Madrid (verso)
Harvard Art Museums
Brown ink on off-white wove paper
13.3 x 20.7 cm 
Spanish Male Dancer before Six Seated Figures (recto);
Fragment of Store Receipt from Villasante, Madrid (verso)
Harvard Art Museums
Brown ink on off-white wove paper
13.2 x 20.8 cm
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond
1937.8.2; 1937.8.12
Spanish Male Dancer before Seated Figures

  El Jaleo

From: Harvard "Verso: The Flip Side of Master Drawings" 

This receipt informs us that in Madrid, where he was in October 1879, "S[eño]r D[o]n M[iste]r Sargent" purchased a travel hat (sombrero para viaje). Later, perhaps on the same day, inspiration struck the artist when he was without a sketchbook, so he used the verso of the folded receipt to sketch dancers in a Madrid café. The printed receipt is now regarded as the verso of the drawings. These spontaneous studies would lead to a celebrated painting, El Jaleo, 1882, now on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The relationship of the drawings to the receipt supports the theory that Sargent’s design process began with the direct observation of a dance performance in a Madrid café. 
(Verso: The Flip Side of Master Drawings) 

El Jaleo 



 Richard Ormond, John Singer Sargent: Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors (New York and London, 1970), p. 38, fig. 13

Richard Ormond, "Sargent's El Jaleo", Fenway Court, 1970, p. 5, fig. 3

Carter Ratcliff, John Singer Sargent (New York, NY, 1982), p. 66, pl. 94

Mary Crawford Volk, John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington DC, 1992), catalogue no. 8, pp. 138-139

Trevor Fairbrother, John Singer Sargent: the Sensualist (Seattle WA/New Haven CT, 2000), p. 99; repr. p. 100, fig. 4.2

James Harper, Verso: The Flip Side of Master Drawings, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2001), cat. no. 24A, repr. (recto and verso), p. 16

Warren Adelson and Elizabeth Oustinoff, "Sargent's Spanish Dancer: A Discovery", The Magazine Antiques, vol. CXLI, no. 3, March 1992, pp. 460-471, reproduced, p. 463, fig. 2


 John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Washington, 03/01/1992 - 08/02/1992; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 09/10/1992 - 11/22/1992

Sargent in the Studio: Drawings, Sketchbooks, and Oil Sketches, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/10/1999 - 09/05/1999


 Sargent, John Singer (Creator). Created 1879, To his sisters, Emily Sargent and Mrs. Francis Ormond, at his death 1925.

Sargent, Emily, and Mrs. Francis Ormond (Owner). From their brother, the artist, at his death 1925, Gift of Mrs. Ormond to the Fogg Art Museum 1937.



    By:  Natasha Wallace
    Copyright 1998-2003 all rights reserved
    Created 2/13/2003
    Updated 08/25/2003