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Subject: "Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours" (Boston Fine Arts Mural) -- Image of 
From: Gregory Fulghum
GWF  ULGHUM@  aol.com
 
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000  

Natasha,  

What a great web site and what lovely work you have done in exploring the life and art of John Singer Sargent.  To have found your site at my fingertips was an unexpected surprise....scholarly, artful, impressive.  

Perhaps you can help me with locating an image by Sargent.  I have tried everywhere I can think of and when I saw your website I thought maybe you could help me.  I am trying to find a colour image of Sargent's Museum of Fine Arts Boston Mural of "Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours." 1921-25. I've found a black and white image which was a charcoal sketch for this work in Ratcliff's book "Sargent" (plate 221) ISBN 0-89660-014-9 copyright 1982.  

I've also seen poor quality photos that feature the more decorative architectural element of the mural than the artistry of the painting.  I've even found details and close-ups of some of the images but never have I found the image in it's entirety and in colour.  Can you help me find a photo, or high-resolution digital image, poster, quality something with this image?  

Most appreciative,  

Gregory Fulghum  
Denver, CO  
Nat,  
 
Natasha, 

I sincerely appreciate your assistance in this endeavor and I will surely follow your advice.  I sent the MFA Boston an email hoping to hear back from somebody since, as you say and also agree, go to the source and see what they have, but I have received no response.  

I have only seen black and white images of this work....and I presume they are only credited as charcoal studies and not the finished polychrome painting.  Why an image of this work specifically?  Well, I have been a long time fan of Sargent.... especially the work he did with Mme Pierre Gautreau.  I keep finding more sketches of her famous profile each year.  This was how I discovered Sargent.  Ratcliff's book was a wealth of images and the  
allegories and mythology I find fascinating.  When I discovered the Boston murals...each of the images just "sang" to me.  Never mind I lived in Boston most of my life before I came to Denver, CO.... somehow my parent's must have forgot about the MFA in my childhood.  

The Apollo theme is one of my favorite...and Sargent executed this one to perfection.   There sits Apollo...chasing away darkness, pulling his mighty chariot and light (sunrise) behind him.  Can you say....breathtaking?  But  
the real clincher with this is the horses, which I might mention are the best horses ever executed by any artist in my opinion.  I was lucky to go to the Palace of Versailles just outside Paris a few years back and there is a  
colossal fountain in the park with Apollo (presumably Louis XIV) pulling his chariot out of the water with a fantastic team of horses.  I am moderately suspicious that Sargent might have taken artistic license and "borrowed" the  
horses, and dare I say... almost mimics the park fountain at Versailles in many aspects.  Sure, the myth is an old myth and imagery is just imagery.  For instance, in religious art, Jesus Christ has the same "look" in almost  
every image..and image that perpetuates for centuries.  One could argue that the myth of Apollo is perpetuated through the centuries with the same kind of images.  

When you look at the other images of the murals... the concept is "classic mythology" all over again, but Sargent is cunning in his representation and the details.  It has an originality that only Sargent can produce.  However, the Apollo mural is so similar to the Apollo fountain at Versailles, that I wonder if he took a direct reference from Versailles and "re-invented" it just here and there.  Just a guess on my part, nothing concrete or  
established...and quite frankly it doesn't really have any purpose but to satisfy my curiosity.  

I wanted the colour image to carefully examine the work as I have only seen the images of the drawings (B and W).  Sargent's use of colour is sometimes surprising and I was just curious to look closer into this concept.  

Thanks for all your assistance Nat.  Also, I found the query/bulletin board section of your webpage and felt might stupid as this happed after I sent you my email.  I really enjoyed reading this page... and I was astonished at the number of people who believe they might have an original work by Sargent and have begun doing the early research.  I believe his body of work is much larger than what we know even today.  I have heard people say negative things about Sargent in the past... painter of wealthy women and children,  
occasionally a male subject, a mere artist turned social climber.  I had to disagree wholeheartedly.  

On a recent trip to Taos, NM I discovered an art gallery that represents a new "Sargent" of the new millennium.  This young Asian artist echoes Sargent with a haunting likeness for his work...quality...museum quality work.  You  
would honestly believe you were looking at an undiscoverd Sargent.  They are not copies of course, but the genre, mood, technique is so overwhelmingly "Sargent" that you are convinced that these are just more of his work.  I did happen to meet the artist (who flew in from NY for the show) and we had an  
interesting discussion for about half an hour.  He admits Sargent's influence over his painting.  He talked about the Boston murals, specifically Apollo, and how inspired the coloration of the painting is.  Based on this young talent's discussion that night, and my own "obsession" with this work..I was trying to put this young artist's words to life with images.  

Thanks again for the tip.... let me know if I can ever offer my assistance!  

Gregory Fulghum  
Denver, CO  

PS 
 Also, did you ever notice in the Apollo image--- the horse's tail in the foreground... looks like a human face/mask is painted there...two eyes and a smiling creepy mouth.... possibly a practical joke....in black and white it looks weird... in colour.... would  
be interesting to see if he plays it up or down?  Just a thought. 

 
 
From: Natasha 

Thanks Gregory, 
 
[See the murals at the Boston Fine Arts added since this letter] 

As you can see, I don't have very good images of the Boston Fine Art murals and to be honest, the best book (that I have seen) is Ratcliff's book, but as you know, all those pictures of the murals are in black and white. Just today I was out doing some Christmas shopping and I ran across the Metropolitan  book which has an image of it (maybe itís a study of it) but again itís in black and white. My best suggestion would be to contact the museum directly, Certainly they would know who has the best images of their own museum in print??!! You think? 

Would love to hear back from you on what you found out. Might I ask why, particularly THIS 
painting you are looking for? 

Nat 
 
 
 
 
 

From: Natasha 

what a beautiful letter, thank you thank you, and if I ever get any decent images of Sargent's Apollo I will paste your comments with it. 

You should never offer to help. I have a very bad habit of taking people up on that 
 


Subject: Book Found 
From: Wonsug Jung
lied fa  n@yahoo.com
 
Date: 3 December 2000 

Hi Nat 

I bought a book on the Sargent murals in the BMFA at the museum shop when I was at the Boston retrospective. It is written by Carol Troyen and also has a chapter on the restoration. I think this book was published accompanying the opening of the newly 
cleansed and restored murals at the time of Sargent retrospective in Boston. All murals are reproduced in full color. Funny thing is that the general view of the stairway murals and most 
part of the key figure is reproduced in mirror image, but the respective murals are correctly reproduced. The quality of plates of the library murals (the Danaides and Philisophy, Science and the unveiling of Truth) is strikingly inferior to others. They seem to be a little pixelized and might have been scanned image or low resolution digital camera image. I remember this book was once available at the online bookstores but I can't find the title now at either amazon.com or bn.com. It can be directly bought from the museum shop though. 

Bye 
 

From: Natasha 

Wonsug, you are a jewel! 
 

 


Subject: Mosenthal portrait  
From: Bee Mortimer
be we14  5@freenetname.co.uk
 
Date: 1/24/01 

Where can I find a portrait by Sargent of mrs. Mosenthal which I saw ages ago on the p.c.  She was a distant relation of my husband''s.

From: Natasha  

1906 -- Mrs. George Mosenthal, signed and dated. 35 ½ x 28 ½ , Mrs. George Mosenthal owner (per Charles Merrill Mountís  Catalogue of Oils. ). I have also seen the name as Rosenthal.

Subject: National Association of Portrait Painters  exhibition 1915-1916 
From: Patrick Van de Velde 
pv ande  v@loxinfo.co.th 
 
or  
pa tri   ck@laopdr.com 
Date: 4-17-2001  

Dear Natasha, 

I find the following information which you may already have : 

Sargent and Gandara, among others such as Montgomery Roosevelt and John Alexander, had their works exhibited at the 5th annual circuit exhibition of the National Association of Portrait Painters Inc. 1915-1916. And if anyone has the catalogue of the exhibition and would accept to send me a copy thereof (or sell me the original at a price I can afford !), I'd be delighted and grateful. 

Hope you are well. 

Patrick. 
 
From: Patrick Van de Velde 
Date: 4-18-2000 

New York. The catalogue mentions : NEW YORK: THE NEW YORK WATERCOLOR CLUB & 
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PORTRAIT PAINTERS, 1915. 

Patrick

 
From Natasha 
Date: 4-17-01 

Good to hear from you Patrick. No I didn't know about this, where is the National Association of Portrait Painters  located? What city?  

And it goes without saying I'd be interested in knowing which portraits Sargent exhibited as well 
 

Subject: Name that painting -- Victorian woman, wall, concert, gazebo 
From: Charles Bertrand
Bert  randChar  les@msn.com
 
Date: 4/30/01 

I know this is like asking you to find a needle in a haystack, but here goes anyway. Many years ago I saw in a magazine a picture, that if memory serves me correctly was a work of Sargent's .I am sorry that I do not remember the magazine or the name of the painting, but please allow me to describe it to the best of my ability. It was of a Victorian woman seemingly attired in her Sunday best entering between a brick or stone wall to attend a band concert or such. If I am not mistaken there is a gazebo in the field, and maybe the presence of others awaiting the concert in the field as well. I can't think of much more to tell you, and I do apologize. The woman has on a bonnet kind of hat,and is carrying a purse her skirt is full, and it seems that she has on a tailored vest. 

 . . . [Your site is] extensive and wonderful. I came across by accident, glad I did. I really enjoyed it and will return to it often. I have just spent an hour of so on the site and enjoyed every minute. 
 

Thanks  

CHB 
 

 
 
From Natasha 

Charles, 

Thank you. 

I don't know about the painting, but good job at trying to describe it as best you can. I'll post it and in time someone might come up with a name for you 

Nat

Subject: 'Mount Olive, Jerusalem'  
From: Deborah Bishop <
d v  b20@cam.ac.uk> 
 
Date: 5/14/01 

I have visited the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (UK) four or five times recently and have been quite taken by a Sargent picture. The label attached says something akin to 'Mount Olive, Jerusalem' and it's a beautiful 
painting. There are three buildings in the background which give way to what looks like rock and sand that sweep right down the painting. The shadow play on the landscape is just wonderful ... anyway, I'm babbling 
now, I do apologize! 

Does this sound familiar to you? The painting is definitely ascribed to John Singer Sargent so I'm at a loss as to why I can't locate it ANYWHERE on the web. 

Thanking you in anticipation of your help. 

Yours sincerely, 
Deborah Bishop 
1st Year BA English Undergraduate 
Lucy Cavendish College 
Cambridge 
CB3 0BU 
 

 
From Natasha 
Not sure I've seen a picture of this or not. I'll post your request 
 

Nat

From: "JOHN H. SMITH"
jo h nh  ylas@worldnet.att.net> 
 
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 

Hi,  
  
First,....love your site!  
  
Next, did John paint one of England's professional beauties of the late 19th Century named Patsy, Mary Fitz-Patrick Cornwallis West?  
  
Thanks,  
  
John Fitz-Patrick Smith 

John I looked in 4 different books and to different catalogues and can't find any reference to the name in any form. Possibly he did a "mug" portrait drawing, will post your q  

Natasha

Subject: 4 paintings at Thyssen- Bornemisza 
From: Cristina
x inab  onita@mixmail.com>
 
Date:  Wed, 19 Dec 2001 

Hi  Natasha! 

I have already written to u about  portrait of a woman in green, with red and sort hair, slim and elegant and in modernist style. i saw this picture in the thyssen museum of madrid, but some years ago. now there are other portraits of other women in the same place, but both of them are by John Singer Sargent. can you help me now with these more clues. I'll be very pleased. 

sorry for my english and thanks. 

cristina 
xi nab   o nita@mixmail.com 
 

From: Natasha 

Wow! Cristina! This is fantastic!  

I did a search of "Thyssen" and I ran into all four of them!!!  

Thank you so much for your letters. This is amazing because it clears up a lot of things such as the Mrs. Charles Russell controversy. 

Anyway, thanks to you, I found what your looking for: 
 

  1. Mrs. Charles Russell (in Madrid)  (1900)
  2. Venetian Onion Seller  (1882)
  3. Millicent, Duches of Sutherland   (1903-04)
  4. Iflex Wood, Majorca (1908)
 
 
Subject: Elizabeth Harrison painting 
From: "Barb Sypult"
Ba rbSy  pult@prodigy.net> 
 
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002  

I wondered if you have knowledge of Elizabeth Harrison...when it was painted and who she was.  Is there a print available.  Any info would be appreciated. Thank you. Barbara Sypult

 
Anyone?
Subject: Earl Grey drawing  
From: Gary L. Roy <
m is  teroy@hotmail.com> 
 
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002  

Hi Natasha,  

I came upon your website quite by accident, and was astounded at how well presented it was.  

A short query which you may, or may not, be able to answer. For the year 1910, do any of your records show Sargent doing a portrait of Earl Grey (pencil/crayon)??  

If this information isn't in your files, are you able to recommend someone who may know? I have seen a lithograph of the drawing. The lithos appear to have been given out by Grey and his wife from Government House in Ottawa, Canada as presents (some present !)  

Thanks for your help  

Kindest Regards  
  

Gary L. Roy  
Stoney Creek, Ontario  
Canada  
mis ter  oy@hotmail.com 

 
 
Editor's Note: Natasha couldn't find any reference to the name Earl Grey.
Subject: J. P. Morgan  
From: William Lloyd"
l lo  yd@execpc.com> 
 
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002  
 

INCREDIBLE, wonderful site!  Thank you so much!  
  
I believe you said somewhere on the site that you'd like word of any painting that might not be shown here.  I looked for but could not find what I seem to recall as an amazing portrait of J. P. Morgan.  I've never forgotten it because when I first saw it it looked to me as though Morgan had a knife in his left hand...and I subsequently read that there had been some controversy over that, but that there was a consensus that no such "editorial" had been intended by Sargent. 
  
I have a GLORIOUS (cheap) print of "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," no longer in print; as far as I know the only one available is the one put out by the Tate itself, in which the colors are absurdly "off."  What a disgrace. 
  
Thanks again so very much! 
  
- Bill Lloyd 
 

From: William Lloyd  
l lo  yd@execpc.com>  
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2002 

I do distinctly recall that he did that Morgan portrait (and the stuff about whether the glint of light off the chair's left armrest was intended as a subtle "editorial" in that it made it look as though the old boy were about 
to lunge at you with a knife!).  I'm sure you'll find it! 

I also had a print (this time, in the form of one of those exhibition posters) of his wonderful portrait of Ms. Fiske-Warren and her daughter; lost it in a house fire in '96, have never been able to find IT!  I'd also love to find a print of his portrait of Ms. Agnew, another absolute masterpiece!  I do have a BIG exhibition-poster print of his Paul Helleu Sketching, With His Wife...  As an old canoe freak, I can tell you that that's PROBABLY a Peterborough canoe, a long-since-defunct eastern Canadian manufacturer of some stunningly beautiful canoes.... 

Here's to those of us who recognize JSS as one of the supreme painters of the ages!!!   :-) 

- Bill 

 

 
Hey Bill, 

Thanks, I appreciate the kind words. I looked for J.P. Morgan and two of the three major biographies don't mention him, nor is it listed in the Smithsonian Catalogue of Works. It's unlikely that such a major name would have been overlooked by past biographers and Catalogues -- unlikely but not impossible. 

Very interesting. You certainly made me wonder. I'm posting your letter under "Help me Find" in the forum and lets see what turns up in a year or two. 

Actually, you can still get a poster on Carnation Lilly Lilly Rose. 
 

Natasha 

 
From: Natasha 
Thanks Bill, I'll keep my eyes out for it. 

Fri, 21 Feb 2003  

I  just found the Mrs J. P. Morgan portrait with the help of Matt Davies. He quotes a source that put it at the Pierpont Morgan Library. I just wrote the Library to ask if I could get a copy of the painting for the JSS Gallery. Let's keep our fingers crossed. 

29 April 2003 

No color images are available through the Pierpont Libary for another year as they are moving departments 
 

 

Subject: Reine Pitman (nee' Ormond) 
From: John Pinder"
j o  hn@pinder.force9.co.uk> 
 
Date:  Sun, 17 Nov 2002  

Editor's note: Reine Pitman (nee' Ormond) was the niece of JSS and the daughter of Violet Ormond  (nee' Sargent)  

From the mid 1940's to the late 1960's, my wife, Mary, as a child onwards, lived at Manor House Odstock Salisbury, where her mother and father were housekeeper and gardener to Hugo and Reine Pitman (nee' Ormond).  I understand that John Sargent painted a portrait of Reine in 1911 possibly with Hugo. Is there, anywhere, an illustration of this painting?  We do have a one off print of Raine by Augustus John and a painting of Reine's daughter Jemima (Unfortunately not by Augustus John!!!). Any help would be greatly appreciated.  My wife can be contacted at Mary@pinder.force9.co.uk. John G Pinder

 
From: Natasha 

I imagine the painting is still in the family (I'm assuming). If it's in private collection there probably is not any prints available and none in books that I know of. You might contact the family

Subject: Mrs Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr. portrait 
From: "Stephen"
k ai  mac@lava.net> 
 
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002  
 

Dear Ms Wallace:   

What a wonderful site! Just happened on your Sargent Gallery and am thrilled to find it.  

Mrs. Manson's portrait entered the collection of the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1969 having been purchased from Knoedler and Co. of New York City. The painting went from Minneapolis to the Hunting Hartford Museum then to Knoedler's. There is a story that Sargent gave this portrait to Mrs. Manson as a thank you gift after a lengthy stay in the Manson's Madison Ave. home. I would like to find any biographical information that is available concerning May Groot Manson. I am especially anxious to confirm her place and date of birth. Her death certificate lists her birth place as New York City and the date as June 23, 1859. I cannot confirm that information through NYC birth records. It is MY feeling that she was older than 31 at the time Sargent painted her luminous portrait. Do you know where I might get more information on May (sometimes Mary) Groot Manson? Many  thanks for a wonderful website and for any info that might be available re. Mrs. Manson. 
Sincerely,  

Stephen McClaran  

fax 808 263 4457

 anyone?

Subject: Painting of Christ 
From: Marilyn Melton 
m els  hore@hotmail.com>  
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003  

I just looked at all the pictures of John Singer Sargent you have available on your website.  However, I didn't find a picture of the oil painting he did of Christ against a blue background.  According to the book where I found a picture of this painting, J. S. Sargent wanted to create a new version of what he felt Christ looked like & the portrait was done entirely from his imagination.  The original is almost life-size & is hanging in a church in New York, I think. 

I was so impressed with the painting, I painted a copy for my church in 1983 and have started another one for my new church.  I still have a copy of the picture, but it is in storage.  Is there any reason this picture is not included on your website?  I've attached a picture of the painting I did in 1983, but if you would like a picture of the original painting by John Sargeant, I can send it as soon as I find it in my storage. 

 

From: Marilyn Melton  
<melshore@hotmail.com>  
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003   

I discovered why you have never seen these pictures in the JSS collection.  It was actually done by someone with a similar name; John Howard Sanden.  The original hangs in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, and was donated to the church by the artist. 

 

I apologize for the mix-up, but I'm sure you'll agree that both artists have similar styles, as well as similar names.  They are both great artists.  If I'm ever half as good as either, I would consider myself fortunate. 

Thanks. 

Marilyn Melton 

  
 

  
From: Natasha  

Thank you for your rendition of Christ based on Sargent's. I don't think I've seen Sargent's painting of this and would, of course, be very interested in seeing a scan of it when you find it in storage. Also, when your looking, see if you don't see if you have what museum it's at with the image.   

The only reason I wouldn't have a painting up online is that I haven't found it online.  

All the best  

Natasha 
 
 

From: Natasha 

Good luck on your art and thanks for the follow-up 

All the best 

Natasha

Subject: Illustrated Childens book? 
From: Patricia Opincar 
1 BUS  TER1@gte.net> 
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003  

When I was a child in the late 1940's, 1950's, I had a book about a children's garden party.  I vividly remember the impressionistic illustrations, and have since identified the artist as possibly John Singer Sargeant. Unfortunately the book was destroyed in a fire.  I would like to at least identify the title of the book, and possibly find a copy.  Can you assist? 

Thank you. 
 

Subject: Old gentleman leaning over a young boy holding a candle 
From: Colene Harris 
Co le  ne@tsgcapital.com 
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003  

I very much enjoyed your website.  I have always admired JSS' work.  I was surprised that one of my favorite paintings was not on your website.  I always thought JSS was the artist of a painting I saw at the Lourve.  I don't know the title but it depicts an old gentleman leaning over a young boy holding 
a candle in a dark room.  Evidently this is not JSS or you would have listed it here. I know I lack information but are you familiar with this piece of work?  

Thank you for your wonderful site. 
Sincerely, Colene Harris 
 

Don't know
Subject: "the Gypsy" watercolor 
From: sus an bask  erville@borgess.com 
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003  

 I have been trying to find a print of the Singer Sargent watercolor titled \"the gypsy\" which that was in Chicago exhibit May- June of 1999. Can you tell me anything more this piece or where I might be able to purchase a print? 
 

From: Natasha 

 I'm coming up with a big fat zero. Have you tried to contact Chicago. What do they say?

Subject: Elsie Wagg  
From: Eri cah  un@aol.com  
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002  

Dear Natasha, 

I wonder if you can help the National Gardens Scheme track down a portrait of  Elsie Wagg - number 936 'signed top and bottom. 39 ½ x 27 ½. ' Elsie Wagg was the woman who had the bright idea in 1927 of inviting people to open their gardens to the public in aid of charity, which led to the NGS, a charitable organization that these days raises considerable funds for such charities as Macmillan Nurses and Marie Curie Cancer Care. The NGS have got a faded photo of the portrait and no record of how they acquired it.  

Yours sincerely, 

Erica Hunningher 
10 Canning Road 
London N5 2JS 
 
 

Miss Elsie Wagg, 1893, signed top and bottom. 39 ½ x 27 ½.  CMM listing 
 
Copyright 1999-2003 Natasha Wallace all rights reserved
Updated 02/16/2004