John Singer Sargent / Mrs. Ralph Curtis / 1898John Singer Sargent
Mrs. Ralph Curtis

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Creator Name: Sargent, John Singer
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1856 - 1925
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: John Singer Sargent
Title: Mrs. Ralph Curtis
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1898
Creation End Date: 1898
Creation Date: 1898
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Unframed: 219.3cm x 104.8cm
Inscriptions: Inscribed: To Ralph and Mrs. Ralph, John S. Sargent 1898
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1998.168
Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund

The subject of this painting (born Lisa DeWolf Colt) was the wife of one of Sargent's closest friends, his cousin Ralph Curtis, who was also a painter. She leans backward, with her hands resting on a table and seems to look over the viewer, as if she is about to greet some other friends who have just entered the room. The setting is the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, which the Curtis family purchased in 1878, and where they entertained a distinguished group of guests, including Henry James, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and the novelist Vernon Lee. Claude Monet painted from the front steps of the Palazzo and Henry James used the palace as the Venetian setting for his famous novel, The Wings of the Dove (1902).

Until now this painting has been known to few people, since for a century it apparently never left the room for which it was painted in the Palazzo Barbaro. One of Sargent's masterpieces, and a stunning display of his virtuoso brushwork, it is also the first canvas by the artist to enter the Cleveland Museum of Art's collection. The painting's acquisition coincides with the 100th anniversary of its creation.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1998.168
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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