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Subject: Daughters of Edward Darley Boit
From: Ben Zo

I was looking for the Daughters Boit pictures and found them here. Thanks for putting them on-line. Sargent kicks ass. 

He does at that -- Nat
Daughters of Edward Darley Boit
Subject: JSS
From: Kathleen Staples

John Singer Sargent is such a terrific painter--has so many lessons to teach us regarding attitude towards the work, application of paint, use of color, etc. I've always looked to him for inspiration. I'm so glad to find others who appreciate his work, too! There is a large exhibition of his work this year--is it at the National Gallery in D.C.? I'm very impressed with the website as a whole and admire the obvious work that went  into putting it together. Good show! 

Thank you very much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Subject: Lady Agnew
From: Bob Prout

I saw the Sargent exhibit at the Nat Gallery last month and was really taken by a  couple of the portraits. I was looking for some online reference and ended up at Natasha's Page. I have been back a couple of times looking for this and that. Lady Agnew is my current wallpaper - where do I know her from? 

You tell me, Bob <wink> -- Nat
From Cel

what a fabulous master John Singer Sargent was I was at the NAtional Gallery recently. It was spellbounding. Your pages have also been wonderful to give me insight to this looked over master!

Thanks  -- Nat
Subject: Light and Shadows - Corfu
From: Vicki Wolfinger

Thank you for your great site featuring John Singer Sargent.  I was looking for his 'Light and Shadows - Corfu," and couldn't find it because I had convinced myself that the title was "The House at Arles." Your chronological listing saved the day.  I thoroughly enjoyed the site.  Thanks a million times over for all the work you put into it.  I hope a lot of people discover it!

Isn't Light and Shadows, Corfu  (1909) just simply wonderful? I only wish there was a better image of it on the net -- Nat
Subject: ID medium and size
From Alice Somoroff 

I serendipitously found your site and enjoyed it very much. It would be helpful to identify the medium for each painting (oil, watercolor, graphite, etc.) and also give the dimensions.  Thank you for a beautiful site/sight.

Thanks. Yes I agree and it's on my list of things to do -- Nat
Subejct: A Boating Party
From: Debora Warner 

You''re websight is great.  The reason I found my way it today, is that I bought " A Boating Party" print and wanted to find out more about the artist and the picture. 

A Boating Party is one of my favorites as well. It's interesting though, The image in books I've seen show a predominate tone of blue, whereas the image online is more orange or red so I suspect the accuracy of this image -- Nat


Apparently that tone is correct.

If the the discussion of the quality of images for paintings interest you, I recommend reading  "The Case For Black and White" by Mark Harden 

From: Anonymous 

Loved it!!! Well done.

Thanks -- Nat

From: Michael 

This web page is really a "Work of Art".  Thank you. 

No, thank you for saying so -- Nat
From: Trish

Your page is most comprehensive and thoughtfully constructed. I enjoyed my visit!

Thanks -- Nat
From: Larry Schilb

Thank you. This is awonderful site. Found while looking for Boston Exhibition & looked at every page and will be back for reference.

Thanks -- Nat

From: Jennifer Svagdis

I stumbled onto your site and started poking around with no real purpose. I had never even heard of John Singer Sargent. Your casual, nonpretentious presentation kept me here and your thoroughness and genuine interest made him real to me. I felt like we were sitting over coffee discussing Sargent's paintings and his life. Your enthusiasm and for this artist is contagious. You have created a fan! 


That's great! I love turning people on to Sargent. -- Nat

Subject: Retrospective -- Boston
From: Bert

Your site is wondrous and I was drawnto it while surfing for Sargent. I've just come back from Boston and the Sargent exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts  . . . and I needed a Sargent fix. I think I mainlined most of your site. What an effort! It really is marvelous and no amount of praise will do it justice. I shall be back and back again...

If you've not been to the Sargent exhibit yet you're in for what is truly a delight  . . . It is unquestionably one of the most delicious retrospectives I have ever seen. It certainly confirms for me yet again that no  reproduction can do justice to the paintings. In reality they glow, they breathe and they draw you into themselves . . .

I rented the audio CDROM guide and,  oh my, they knew exactly [how to produce it]  There were moments when I was so overcome with the marriage of music and words and image that I stood transfixed . . .

I'm sure others have written you all about the Sargent exhibit, so I shan't
burden you with redundant praise and enthusiasm for it and shall conclude
with my gratitude for your incredible site.

Thank you
From: Bert

Hi Natasha

 . . . The pleasure of this trip
remains with me still and in order to vent some of this joy I've begun working on a wee addition to my site with some personal observations and images from this journey. It's not done yet [mostly done now] but it desperately needs a viewer - someone interested in the subject is ideal of course - and brazenly and with trepidation I offer it for your perusal.


Thank YOU Bert, such kinds words and all appreciated, most truly. 

And you know what? I think you have been able to convey in words better than I, that these images that you see here are only mere shadows of the power of seeing them in person. Just the size of Madame X and Boit Daughters and the subtlety of the tonality just can never be conveyed (Likewise modern art is just completely lost on the Net or in books because so much of it is about texture as it is the image) and you get that with Sargent’s too.

Now what is this about a CDROM? Is this the audio that accompanies the tour, or is this somthing else?

-- Nat 


Hi Bert,

And many viewers I hope it gets too. This is simply wonderful and I loved every page of it. You have done a great job here and I'm happy to include links to it from my pages

by all means, take a look at what he's done.


Subject: Lady Agnew
From: Wonsug Jung

Gertrude Vernon is Lady Agnew as you know and all scans are from Portrait of a Lady; Sargent and Lady Agnew by Julia Rayer Rolfe, et alwhich is available at for $15.96

-- Wonsug

From: Wonsug Jung

The scan of Gertrude Vernon is not a drawing by Sargent. It is the photograph taken at the time of her engagement to Andrew Noel Agnew, and it is the only photograph of Lady Agnew known to exist.

The following is Julia Rayer Rolfe's comment.

"Sargent preferred to catch his sitters in a characteristic pose. On her arrival at the studio Lady Agnew might have well sunk exhausted into an armchair, leaving one arm hanging weakly over the side. This apparent passivity is belied by the self-assurance in her expression and her hand is actually grasping the edge of the chair. Part of the
allure of her portrait comes from the combination of the direct gaze, the relaxed attitude and the quizzical lift of her eyebrow and the corner of her mouth. Sargent has selected a high viewpoint to make the most of Gertrude looking upwards provocatively, secure in the knowledge of her beauty, even though she may not have been in the best of health. Did Sargent flatter Gertrude? Certainly she is not as striking in the only surviving photograph of her taken at around the time of her marriage, but she has the same tilt to her head and upward look, which suggests that this pose was assumed naturally."


Wonsug sent me another picture, date unknown, of Gertrude Vernon

-- Nat 


This is wonderful -- thank you for the clarification, and I hope to add it in a footnote to the painting eventually

-- Nat


Thank you very much.  Your site is fabulous, a labor of love, obviously.  He was truly amazing.

From: Elaine Stewart

I am at heriot-watt uni. in galashiels, scotland. unfortunately, even though it is an art based campus i was only able to get one book on him and it is so nice to see that i can get more help from these pages!

Thank you for the kindness in your thoughts, it is very rewarding for me to hear you say that.

Best regards


JD Hopkins

You must get his watercolor landscapes on you page!

Send them. I'll get them posted -- Nat
From: Michael McDonald

what a great job you''ve done.  this by far is the best site I''ve had the pleasure to view. thank you so much!!!!!!

Thank you very very much you have made my day!!!! I really apreciate your comments.


From: Tim Strasser
Tcu rtS

I would like to learn more about my great-great- great-great-uncle.  I was just looking him up and I do have some of his paintings.  Or my grandma does. I have visited the Sargent House once up in Mass.  I am very proud to be a descendent
of him.  I would like to learn more about him.  Thank...Tim (age 17)

Just keep reading here, it's a good start. You should be very proud of your great-great- great-great-uncle

-- Nat

From:  Christopher Johnson
christo phera  joh


      I stumbled upon your web site in TalkCity while looking for somebody else's page.  I am very impressed by what you have done here.

      I am not an artist, but I love art greatly.  I hold a master's degree in Humanities (U. of South Florida), and also pursued (but did not finish) a Ph.D. in something called Comparative Arts (it's a degree program unique to Ohio University).   Since entering grad school in 1989, I have been teaching college courses in Humanities; these courses are generally  not devoted to art exclusively, but include substantial amounts of art history or art appreciation in them.  I have in fact from time to time used the "Boit Daughters" painting for exams--it is a great one to use to teach the formal elements of art.  And I still recall with excitement my experience seeing "El Jaleo" "live" at the Gardner Museum, some fifteen years ago.

     I really enjoyed reading through your art analyses.  You are right about the superficiality of most of the material about art on the Web (this is why I tell my own students to check the Web *last*...alas, some of them can't escape the Al Gore hype and bring themselves to look at a book to do research!)  Your essays appear to be very thorough and thoughtful, however.

     Are your art bulletin boards still active?  I would love to jump into one of those.

Christopher Johnson
St. Petersburg, FL

Yes it's still active, and thank you for your comments, I loved hearing from you. Just jump right in.


From Sophie Carp
s. ca

Hi Natasha!

I already sent you an ICQ, but there was too little space to tell you how much I loved your site! This year is my last year in high school (I'm 17), and I have to write an essay for Art History. One of the subjects I chose to write about is John S. Sargent, and I just found an incredible pile of information about him! As I wrote in the ICQ, I'm going to study Art History in the UK next year, so your site will become top of my list when I need to find information, or just want to check out some interesting stuff. Thanks a lot, and good  luck with your site! 

Sophie from 
The Netherlands

Thank you very much Sohie, and good luck on your studies -- Nat
From: Peter
la  ndri

Not to long ago I was waiting in the lobby of this Thai doctors office that my mother goes to.. I had given her a ride because she was in a lot of pain. Anyhoo I was waiting around for about an hour and a half and while sitting there scanning the room full of esoteric eye candy I spotted a Smithsonian magazine on a table top... and that's where i first fell in love with Sargent’s paintings.  I couldn't believe I had never heard of him.  Well anyway I like your page.


Thanks Peter -- Nat
From: Kim Whittingham Caruso
kc aruso

You have done an amazing job. I never dreamed when I searched for JSS I would find all this. I also never thought there would be someone who is moved as much by his work as my father (a successful portrait artist in his own right.) When I see him next month I'll be sure to bring this site to his attention. He may be able to make some contributions. Keep up the--

[the good work?]

(The message had been cut off)

Kim, thank you . I really appreciate your comments, and by all means tell you father and anyone else you think might enjoy the site.


From: Jay

Natasha, This is a great site. I think you have done a great job and sargent is awsome!!! Thanks

Thank you, Jay -- Nat
From: Dennis Roberts
dr obe


And a quick thank you for your beautifully done site. I've been making a transition from landscape painting to portraiture and Sargent is a major inspiration for me, but I enjoy almost all artwork, especially when it's so thoughtfully put together. Thanks for all your work.


Thank you, Dennis
From: Will Donnelley 
w.don  nel

(Note - The following is a composit of three short notes sent to me by Will. I have combined them for clearity. )

I do not have a clue who you are but words can not express my appreciation for your Sargent site. I stumbled across it by accident. I am passionately in love with his work, especially his watercolors. My degree is in art history and I play at watercolor painting. Sargent''s works hit the core of my aesthetic soul. 

I am heading east this summer to visit the Boston MFA, I.S. Gardner and other New England museums that house Sargent and Homer works. I live in Portland, OR and have to travel to see Sargent's works. I caught the Chicago show last June at the Museum Of American Art of American watercolors and was stunned by Sargent's work up close and personal. His brushwork was sooooooooo loose and spontaneous.. 

You asked if I have a favorite Sargent's painting. I favor his watercolors because it is my favorite medium and Sargent broke new ground in the  field. He and Homer broke away from the staid English school of pen and ink and produced explosive, loosely painted works that jarred the critics. They made watercolors fashionable and were the first to have them seriously exhibited. 

A favorite painting.... 
1) In terms of overall technique-

-"Muddy Alligators   1917 
2) In terms of aesthetic and emotional impact on me: 
-Gourds 1905-08 
-White Ships 1908 
-The Grand Canal, Venice 1902 
-The Garden Wall 1910
I love his loosely painted things. There are so many. 

Although my degree is in art history I do not work in the field professionally. Like you, it is just a personal interest that I devote a lot of time to. Thank you again for your huge contribution 

What is your favorite Sargent painting? 



From: Natasha

Thanks for your letter, I really appreciated it and loved hearing about which paintings you liked. If you have a chance to check out my site you will notice that i found a great write-up about Muddy Alligators 

The best letters are sometimes the hardest to answer and your question as to what is my favorite painting is a very difficult one to answer. I have been trying to answer it in my own head for some time now and it hasn’t really crystalized. In fact I was addressing that issue in an upcoming . . . . . I don’t know– page of mine, maybe you prompting me will make me sit down and settle it. 

Not being a watercolorist myself, I probably can’t fully appreciate the difficultly of some of the things JSS  has done and I hope that in some future date someone who actually paints in watercolors or has made a study of it can enlighten me further; but from what I’ve read and intuitively understand, watercolors can be difficult to manage when you are trying to define shapes and lines, and especially when you run up against different colors it tends to bleed together, whereas oils will stand and stay where you lay them. I would love to hear more about your take on Sargent’s watercolors. Jack White is my other resident watercolorist and its been fun to hear from the two of you and you guys have sort of pointed me in the direction of where to read and what questions to ask myself.

Jack talked about wax resist used in watercolors by Sargent, and I see from the Worcester Art Museum this technic was used in  Muddy Alligators – this is really interesting. I would love to hear more about what you have learned from Sargent regarding your own watercolors.

Best regards



Footnote 51 from Patricia Hill's book, page 248, chapter written by Annette Blaugrund

Sargent seems to have begun using wax for masking as early as 1907; the technique served the purpose of masking the white of the paper or a wash of color from succeeding paint applications; Sargent probably scraped the wax off when the process was finished, for no raised surfaces are discernable. My thanks to Marjorie Cohn, conservator at the Fogg Art Museum and co-author of Wash and Gouache for identifying the waxed areas for me. It was she and Andrea Kaliski, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Fine Arts at Harvard University, who first noted Sargent's use of wax.
Subject: Breakfast in the Loggia 
From: Diane 
Date 2/22/00

Dear Natasha,

I just discovered your site today and I am thrilled.  I sent you a note about Breakfast in the Loggia that did reveal some disappointment for me in the color of the image.  However, I just saw the original a week ago in Washington D. C. at Sackler/Freer Gallery and I know nothing could satisfy me now but the original.  What I loved was the way it was put under glass.  It looked wet like he was just completed it.  The colors in the ceiling of the patio were creamy blues and pinks and raw siennas.  That is what I was hoping to see in your reproduction and why I was disappointed.  But so I love being able to pull up all of Sargent's works like this and read the info
you have added about some. 

Thank you for this. 


From: Natasha

Thank you Diane, 

I got both your web note and your letter. I’m sorry to hear about the “yellow” tent of my image – or maybe sorry isn’t quite the right word. I envy that you have seen it in person for I can only imagine just how more beautiful it could be. I wish I had a better image of this, but I don’t know where I got it. I have made a point to document the source of most of these images so that I would know, but I guess I didn’t in this case. As I’ve said before, the images you see here are but shadows of what the art looks like in person – as is the case with most art online and most artists, but it does give you an idea of the beauty and I think it is a good way to learn about him.

Best regards


PS I added your comments to to painting plate.

Subject: Two New Paintings
From: Han Timmer 
h    t  @hti  mmer.dem
Date: 3/29/00


First of all, this is to let you know I greatly enjoy your spendid Sargent site. It is the best site on any individual artist I have encountered on the web so far. I am an art historian from Leiden (Leyden), the Netherlands, and a great fan of Sargent's, especially since seeing The Garden Wall on the exhibition The Great American Watercolour in Amsterdam, some years ago. I am glad it was added to your site recently. His Italian paitings are amongst his best, in my opinion.

Secondly, this is to send you images of two Sargent paintings I came across as a visitor at the TEFAF, the Maastricht arts fair,  the largest European fair of its kind, a couple of days ago. Since the paintings are not on your site (as far as I know), I thought you might be interested. It is a nice to idea to have seen them, especially since they are in private hands and might not be seen for some time. I pasted part of the information on the paitings as well. The one painting is one of the many portraits by Sargent [Miss Eleanor Brooks], the other is very interesting since it is one of the copies to Frans Hals Sargent made in 1880 and to which you refer [The Standard Bearer]. In fact, there was a similar Hals copy on show and for sale as well.

Some relevant facts: the Brooks portrait was on sale at Berry-Hill Galleries, New York, the Hals copy at Agnew's, London. You will find the images and complete texts at the fair's site: You will have to click through to TEFAF Maastricht and then find the red exhibitors button on the top of the page. I hope it works. The pictures are also in the fair's catalogue, which maybe you might be able to find somewhere.


Han Timmer, Leiden, the Netherlands

Thank you!!! thank you!!! you are so kind in your words about my site and I’m so glad you found it. AND I am so happy that you have taken the time to given me the information on the two paintings. As you will see I have added them right away – thank you!!!!!!!!!

It’s really wonderful how people have jumped in and helped me out. I am most greatful to all of you!


Subject: Sargent Painting donated to the  Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury Ct.
From: friend of JSS virtual gallery
Date: 4/5/00

[A friend of the JSS Virtual Gallery attends the opening and reports.]

the painting was a Courtyard in Venice and A Venetian Canal. the size was approximately 12" x 8"

- get this,  a canal on one side and a plaza on the front- he had painted both sides. an ideal situation would be to have the 2 sided painting hanging in glass so that both sides could be seen - saw a gauguin that way in the d'orsay-

the donor was Seymour and Mildred Thaler Cohen
the painting was purchased at the Sloan Roman Gallery in Manhattan the work was donated to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury Ct. 06702

i was a bit disappointed - the side i saw was the courtyard and looked unfinished -there was a small bit of sky and then a tower and buildings-the courtyard appeared to be a mid tone -and not done- this was also not signed on this side either- there was a notebook on a table that showed the back side but the picture was too small to be of help - it was smaller than your thumbnails
and not very good-

but sargent is sargent even on a bad day and it was quite nice to see something that had been in a private collection.


I couldn't find the image of the painting at the museum but there is a note about it under Special Exhibits

-- Nat

Subject: Favorite Painting donated to the  Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury Ct.
From: 1co  o
Date: 5/5/00

My favorite Sargent painting is "Mr. and Mrs. John Phelps Stokes".  It shows the wife daringly in the forefront, with her husband in the shadows.  I think that much of Sargent's work shows things status quo for the times, and this work is a little more daring.  I saw it for the first time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, hanging next to ``Madame X'', so it made quite an impression.  I really enjoyed your site, though, especially the caricatures.

Oh yes the caricatures,. but I can't take credit for that -- that's Wonsug's page and he's done a wonderful job with it. One of these day he'll be back. He's been pretty busy.

I added your painting.


Subject: Recent comments from ICQ notes

Anonimous 4/26/00:
Thank you so much for this site. What a pleasure to be able to browse Sargent's work.

Matteo Turri writes 5/1/00:
Dear Natasha, Your site about Sargent is absolutely wonderful -- as is the way you communicate your enthusiasum for the painter. These are the thing I like to find on the net. Thank you!

Ben Zhu writes 5/2/00:
You Rock! Thanks for sharing such great images with the rest of the world

Thanks guys. It's very nice to get feedback from people and I really appreciate it

: )

Subject: Just a word of thanks..
From: Nathan Cross
 n  cr
Date: 6/5/00

Hiya Natasha, just a quick note to thank you for all your hard work asssembling this fantastic John Singer Sargeant resource. It is truly invaluable, and a pleasure to use.

Thank you!

Thanks Nathan, I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know and to send such kind words.


From: Ransford Pyle
Date: 6-5-00

Just stumbled on your sight last week, despite having used Sargent as a search term numerous times. I've loved Sargent since I saw the Boit girls at the MFA and Jaleo at Mrs Garner''s palazzo when I was studying art history at Harvard many years ago. I missed the retrospective - almost broke my heart, but I managed to acquire two of the banners Boston hung from the– [Message was cut short by ICQ]

From: Ransford Pyle
Date: 6-6-00 

. . . I purchased the advertising banners, one of Madame X and one of Lady Agnew. I was wondering if there were others. Somehow, as a former student of art and now a sometime watercolorist, I feel more comfortable with these than with a copy as you outlined in a different part of your website. Perhaps the message I sent was censored because I made the unconnoisseurly comment that each day as I gaze into the eyes of Lady Agnew how I wish she were alive and looking at me in such a way. I wonder if the picture did not inspire some jealousy in Lord Agnew. (I'm sure she told him that Mr. Sargent asked her to think of her husband as he painted). Despite my unforgivable voyeurism in this regard, I do think that Sargent accomplished something in this picture that few others could have done, namely, he combined his usual exquisite treatment of rich fabric with and uncanny suggestion of relaxed tension (is that possible?) in posture and a facial expression that is quietly but undeniably seductive. 

I fell in love with Sargent at Harvard at a time when he was held in low esteem by my professors, but I knew in my heart that his star would once again rise while some of their favorites were destined for the dustbin. I suppose I was destined to be attracted to his subject matter, having likewise fallen in love with Italy as a child when my parents made a brief play at expatriates, mostly in Florence. And I wound up at Harvard in the town that reminded us that Sargent was an 'American' painter - I always thought England's greatest musician was a German and her greatest painter an American. I had come to admire that era in American painting through Winslow Homer in the Addison Gallery where I tried to escape the tyranny of Andover. 

I'm not sure how I missed your page before or even how or why I found it the other day. But it was like discovering a gold mine. I am very busy these days with other things, but I somehow find myself sneaking back to your site. It is an exemplary site. On the one hand, I could hardly dislike a site with all those lovely pictures, but the design is excellent in so many ways. You save the clutter for your links page where it belongs and everything else is admirably organized and downloads quickly considering the intense load on graphics. Thank you for shunning commercialism - you must be independently wealthy (if so, you have spent your money and efforts wisely). 

The remarkable thing about the site is that it is all Sargent, yet your personality comes through on every page. Fortunately your personality is enchantingly Sargentesque - here my education fails me for I don't know the proper adjective. At any rate, you have used the Web in precisely the way it was meant to be used. So forget about those who might question your credentials - on the Web performance is what counts. 

After this effusive praise, I feel I can ask that you include some of those wonderful Boboli watercolors done around 1907. I have them in my book but I'd love to see them on your site.  Should you ever check my personal page, I'm afraid you'll find a Vermeer, my absolute favorite. 

Ran Pyle 
Legal Studies 
University of Central Florida (don't ask - I tell my students I'm a missionary) 

From: Natasha

Thank you!!!!! I love getting messages like that where people tell me why they like Sargent and the history of their affection or obsession (as the case may be) <smile>

I'm glad you stumbled in. You’re most welcome and here you can actually touch the paintings so stumble all you want.

Regarding banners. I don't know, you might contact the museum itself, but if you mean posters and prints try this link

You really made me blush. Thank you very much and the encouragement means a lot to me. Though I should say it's not so much that I have shunned commercialism but just that I don't think its necessary that each and every page needs to be the virtual equivalent of the Las Vagas Strip. I'm at a bit of a disadvantage having housed my pages on Talkcity, they seem obsessed with pop-up ads and I fear they are moving more and more towards that end -- none of which benefits me, so I try to keep my pages as clean as possible.

As to the nature of my  wealth . . . . well, . . .  it's all rather relative, now isn't it?  But if you find yourself a betting man, I'll trade my assets for yours.


I really enjoyed your take on Lady Agnew and have added that portion of your letter to the forum at Lady Agnew.


Subject: Natasha's Madame X page
From: Tim Frame
fra  mevi
Date: 6-5-00

I very much appreciated the personal observations, historical insights and related links of your Madame X compilation.  Your non-art expert perspective is profoundly more inviting and relevant, I think.  Lofty academic discourse loses me completely, and intimidates an otherwise emotionally fascinating human experience of art.  Indeed, the very desire to capture, express and share is first and foremost a most compelling non-intellectual impulse.  Again, much thanks!

Tim Frame
Liberty, MO

Dear Tim,

I couldn’t agree with you more, at least in regards to how I like to read about art, and you flatter me greatly to think that I have done that – at least in some small way. The interesting question (for me at least) is how do I tell a story without losing people in all the clutter of information. Sometimes I think I succeed. Sometimes I think I don’t. It’s not easy – there are probably a lot who could do better.

The best things that I’ve ever read bring to life the relevance of the human experience. One thing I’ve learned is that people don’t change. The hopes, the fears, the aspirations and disappointment, the joys of living, friendships are all universal to us -- regardless of nationality or time. These are real people – just like us – just like me -- and the joy over a painting, the struggle to express a feeling in art are the same, just as the misunderstandings of art are the same. If we look at a historical painting of significance and yawn with indifference we have missed everything!!!! You got to taste it in your teeth (so to speak), smell its pungent odor in your nostrils, feel the dirt between your fingers. It’s clearly an act of empathy. 

Just trying to explain the mindset I try to put myself in.

Thanks for your kind note.


From: A Friend of the JSS Gallery

[A Friend of the JSS Gallery sent me a note about more paintings at the National Portrait Gallery, London which I didn't have]

You are the cream of the crop-
The creme de la creme-
The queen of the web-

No kidding- I have visited a lot of web sites and usually leave frustrated because I know more about the subject than the person that put up the site - or there are not enough visual aids for me - or not enough information- or I am looking for a particular painting that I saw which isn’t there. That is one of the reasons I wanted to let you know about the works that I found- you have a super site that blows all others away. If I could only chase all the other people off the web and have you supervise the construction of all the web sites on art. I really felt excited when I came across something you might use as I am sure it is as much fun for you locating the works - I am just happy you don't mind (do you?) when I do come across something. 

Anyway,  you should look into doing this for money-   construction that is - you are good at it

Do I mind???!!!

Lord-all-mighty NO, I don't mind! In fact I'm tickled pink. 

As far as me supervise the construction of every art web-site? Are you sure you want everything on the net in shades of brown?




From: Bert Denda 
be r
Date: 6/25/00

Hi Natasha 

Do you see any value or interest in a few WEB pages on Tite Street? I've become quite intrigued by it and the whole Chelsea area of London, particularly since JSS spent over half his life there. I've already gotten some street maps, an aerial photo of the Tite Street area and have tracked down the name of the current owner of 33 Tite Street who is also a painter. A great many famous - and not so famous - artists have lived there - many during JSS's years there and I think it would be interesting to present JSS in the geographic and social milieu in which he lived and worked. I'd love to pursue this. 

I've also thought about doing a JSS FAQ? You've written so many wonderful essays and have guided your readers through a great deal of fascinating discussion but it's becoming hard to navigate through it all, particularly the items buried in the forums. These could be be encapsulated?, linked? 
summarized? - whatever - in an FAQ type format: 
Things like: 

1 - Did Sargent really fall out of favors with art lovers? 
2 - Was JSS gay? 
3 - When did JSS stop painting portraits? 
4 - How much did JSS get for a portrait during his peak years? 
5 - What countries did JSS travel to? 
6 - What artists influenced JSS? 
7 - What's this about JSS thinking he was a gypsy? :) 
8 - Tell me about JSS's painting technique? 
9 - What's the big deal about Madame X? 
10 - Did JSS have a love life? 

What do you think? Tell me, tell me, tell me...... 


From: Natasha

Have you ever known me to be a wet blanket on a good idea? Don’t answer that, just go with it Bert and with my blessings (sprinkling holly water your way) Go my child, Go forth and do good work!

This is a lot of fun and it even makes it more fun when I know  I’m not doing it alone. Trite Street is a good idea, obviously Whistler had it for a while – I say go for it. Where did you get the maps? I looked for London maps months ago (the Broadway area was another place I was trying to find and couldn’t) online and found really nothing of use. What would be the best are those maps that they make for tourists – they are generally very simple and not geared towards showing every road as much as giving a good overview of the area for someone that doesn’t know the local -- the kind that show significant landmarks as much as roads— you know the kind I’m talking about?

I wish we had a good “person-on-the-ground” so to speak (native to London) that could run over there and take a few pictures.

I still want to do that map thing of Sargent’s travels throughout Europe. I got some great maps from the CIA website along with a whole hard drive on how to build a nuclear missile  -- (what heck am I going to do with this?) But I had thought of putting little red dots on places Sargent traveled. I even figured out (finally) how to build-in links within an image and what I was thinking is that a person could click on . . .  Oh say . . . . . Boston, and up would pop a list of every painting Sargent painted in the Boston area – kind of cool, huh? (but that’s probably too much work).

What I’m having so much fun with right now is threading all these other artists in through the Sargent pages. It’s so perfect, Sargent just about touched or rubbed shoulders or was in the vicinity of nearly every artist, musicians, painter, writer, between 1880 and 1920 and a person could easily run off on any number of tangents and tie it in somehow making it germane – your Mrs Gardner painting from Whistler was just perfect -- I loved it. None of these artists were working in a vacuum.

I like your FAQ idea, that’s sort of what I was trying to do with the Forum index page – but it got too complicated and I never was very satisfied with its structure – still don’t have a good idea on how to do it better. Another FAQ page might be nice and your sample questions seem pretty good. I laughed over questions 7 and 9.

What IS the big deal about Madame X?

Subject:  Accolades
Jeffrey S Young <
je ffr> 
Date:  Fri, 04 Aug 2000 12:44:09 -0700 

Hello, Natasha

I have been enjoying your lovely (and thorough!) Sargent site a morsel at a time.  . . . .

Thanks for you considerable and talented labors of love,

Jeffrey S. Young

Date: 8-9-00

Thank you I like the design of your sight and flattered your linking to me


Subject: Frederick Law Olmsted pic online
From: Jeannette Smyth 
sm y>
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 16:37:58 -0400

thanks for wonderful labor of love, a great help, you'd be interested, i know, in the jpeg of john singer sargent's frederick law olmsted, at  . . . courtesy of biltmore estate. thanks. searched web for weeks for this pic -- used in commemorative stamp for olmsted, 1999.


what i forgot to specify was precisely how you helped me find the olmsted jpeg. it was the catalogue of all the sargent [paintings] and their locations [Catalogue of Oils]. very fabulous. thanks.


Date: 8-9-00


This is wonderful, thank you very much!!!

You have no idea how much this helps me.

 : )


Subject:  Accolades
Jill Hensley 
j i> 
Date:  Tue, 08 Aug 2000 11:00:14 -0500 

Thank you for this website! It is extraordinarily done! I have logged on this website numerous times and each time I find myself fascinated with all the in-depth information. Through your website I found John Singer Sargent who is my absolute to you thank you!

Jill Hensley

Date: 8-9-00

Thank you Jill, that's music to my ears


Subject: Wertheimer exhibit
From: Pat Yates 
Pa tEd
Date:  Tue, 8 Aug 2000 13:21:38 EDT 

Yesterday, I finally mailed the brochure from the Wertheimer exhibit to you, and enclosed a postcard of the beautiful small painting [The Sketchers] at the Virginia Museum.  As I mentioned, only a few of the portraits are included in the brochure, but the information is interesting.  If you want to get the exhibit's catalogue, which I think has all the portraits, here's the web site for the museum:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Pat Yates


Pat, thank you, thank you!!!!

I have received both the postcard and the brouchure and find both simply wonderful. The image in the postcard of The Sketchers, 1913, is far suprior to the image I had online before. 

Also in the brochure I was able to get:

Alfred, Son of Asher Wertheimer
1901,Oil on canvas


Mrs. Albert Vickers
1884, Oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund


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