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A Late Afternoon Visit Includes "Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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A Late Afternoon Visit Includes "Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

- In the Galleries and Museums: Arts and Education


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A Late Afternoon Visit Includes:
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

At
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
www.metmuseum.org
1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212-535-7710

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 3, 2015


(Assisted by Met Museum display notes within the galleries).

Recently perusing the John Singer Sargent exhibit, Portraits of Artists and Friends, was a transporting and luxurious experience. I especially admired Sargent’s portrait of Gabriel Fauré, one of my favorite composers of ballet scores. But, I took a winding path through The Met first, beginning at the Roof Garden, to view the Pierre Huyghe installation. The roof pavement was cut for shallow ponds, green plants, and dim lights. As always, a late afternoon-early eve crowd gathered in the Garden to take in the expansive Manhattan views, with Central Park and surrounding skylines. The two cafés were busy selling wine and chips. The Huyghe installation had sculptural features, with a dynamic glass tank, as well. On exiting the Garden, I proceeded to find the enchanting collection of Camille Corot paintings. Most magnetic are his painted views of figures interacting with nature, like gathering mushrooms or rowing on a lake, with feathery trees hovering, replete with leaves that resemble milkweed spores. Corot loved morning sun, paucity of color, gypsies, and the occasional introspective figure.

From the Corot collection, I happened upon Odilon Redon’s lovely, oil on canvas painting of a vase of poppies and cornflowers and his surreal, pastel on paper sketch of the wife of an art patron, who was a friend of Debussy. The Wisteria Dining Room, along the way, was originally in a circa 1925 Parisian apartment, with dining table, chairs, console, and carpet. Still headed toward the Sargent exhibit, I came across works by one of my favorite artists, Pierre Bonnard, who painted interiors that exude relaxation and pleasant, domestic interludes. Below are paintings of a colorful dressing area in the artist’s home, near Paris, with Bonnard’s companion, Marthe, reflected in the mirror, as well as a fanciful, romantic scene of morning in a garden, evocative of Chagall, and a loving portrait of Marthe in a green blouse, being attended to by a servant. In the midst, I couldn’t resist a similar painting by Vuillard, with a sumptuous garden and a woman with whom Vuillard was having a longtime affair. Discovering vases designed by the Austrian designers, Karl Klaus and Josef Hoffmann, I took notice of two lush portraits by Gustav Klimt, both commissioned, one of a young daughter of Viennese arts patrons and one the wife of a Viennese patron.

Soon, I was finally settled at the Sargent exhibit, formerly seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London. While many artists are known to have burned their works in fits of financial despair, Sargent became quite successful and wealthy, thanks to his flair for stagecraft in scenery, costumes, and thematic direction of his commissioned portraits. Born in Italy to American parents, Sargent spent much of his life in Paris and London, painting commissioned portraits of celebrities, many of whom he knew well, and friends and family of those celebrities. The Met exhibit includes 92 works, eight of which are seen below. Madame Pierre Gautreau, an infamous lady of Parisian society, became, in Sargent’s painting, “Madame X”. Her black velvet and silk gown, with its heart-shaped bodice, has been replicated by designers, since this stunning, 1883 likeness, when Ms. Gautreau was in her twenties. Dr. Samuel-Jean Pozzi, a gynecologist, became, in Sargent’s portrait, “Dr. Pozzi at Home”, a pontifical figure in a long, red robe.

A profile study of Claude Monet was submitted in 1897 to the National Academy of Design in New York for Sargent’s diploma, as his homage to Monet. In 1885 Sargent painted two girls lighting paper lanterns in a garden at dusk, and the study below, for “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” was of the girl on the right, named Polly. Sargent’s “Garden Study of the Vickers Children”, painted when Sargent was visiting his patrons, adds lilies for ingénue ambiance. Sargent painted a distinguished, facial portrait of Fauré, a rising composer, whom Sargent helped to promote in London. The Spanish dancer, “La Carmencita”, was painted many times by Sargent, as she performed in music halls, including a hall in New York, where she was renowned. Painting her in a still, flamenco pose, with a luscious gold dress, caused a stir, due to her line of work. The 1909 painting, “In the Garden, Corfu”, features Sargent’s sister’s friend, Jane, as the artist, his sister, and friends leisurely vacationed on the island. Such was the life of John Singer Sargent. I look forward to another rewarding and nurturing tour of The Met Museum’s galleries and spaces, hopefully soon.



Camille Corot, French (1796-1875)
"Ville-d'Avray", 1870
Oil on canvas
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection
Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887
87.15.141
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Camille Corot, French (1796-1875)
"A Woman Gathering Faggots at Ville-d'Avray", ca. 1871-74
Oil on canvas
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection
Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
17.120.225
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Camille Corot, French (1796-1875)
"The Ferryman", ca. 1865
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
14.40.811
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Camille Corot, French (1796-1875)
"The Gypsies", 1872
Oil on canvas
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection
Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
17.120.212
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Camille Corot, French (1796-1875)
"The Letter", 1865
Oil on wood
H. O. Havemeyer Collection,
Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1929
29.160.33
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Odilon Redon, French (1840-1916)
"Vase of Flowers", Pink Background, ca. 1906
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Mabel Choate, in memory of her father,
Joseph Hodges Choate, 1958
59.16.3
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Odilon Redon, French (1840-1916))
"Madame" Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier, born 1865), 1901
Pastel on paper
The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1960
60.54
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Wisteria Dining Room, 1910-14
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966
66.244.1-.25
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Pierre Bonnard, French (1867-1947)
"The Dressing Room", 1914
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
1984.433.3
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Édouard Vuillard, French (1868-1940)
"Garden at Vaucresson", 1920, reworked 1926. 1935. 1936
Tempera on canvas
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1952
52.183
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Pierre Bonnard, French (1867-1947)
"Morning in the Garden", 1917
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
1984.433.4
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Pierre Bonnard, French (1867-1947)
"The Green Blouse", 1919
Oil on canvas
The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1963
63.44
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Karl Klaus, Austrian (1889-?)
Vase, ca. 1911
Earthenware
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2010
2010.347
Josef Hoffmann, Austrian (1870-1956)
Vase, ca. 1908
Silver, gold plating
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1923
23.213.2
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Gustav Klimt, Austrian (1862-1918)
"Mäda Primavesi" (1903-2000), 1912
Oil on canvas
Gift of André and Clara Mertens,
in memory of her mother, Jenny Pulitzer Steiner, 1964
64.148
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Gustav Klimt, Austrian (1862-1918)
"Serena Pulitzer Lederer" (1867-1943), 1899
Oil on canvas
Purchase, Wolfe Fund, and Rogers and Munsey Funds,
Gift of Henry Walters, and Bequests of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe
and Collis P. Huntington, by exchange, 1980
1980.412
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Madame X" (Madame P. Gautreaux, Virginie Avegno Gautreaux, 1859-1915), 1883-84
Oil on canvas
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916
16.53
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Dr. Pozzi at Home" (Samuel-Jean Pozzi, 1846-1918), 1881
Oil on canvas
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Armand Hammer Collection,
Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Claude Monet" (Claude Monet, 1840-1926), 1887
Oil on canvas
National Academy Museum, New York
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Study for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose", 1885
Oil on canvas
Private Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Garden Study of the Vickers Children" (Billy b. 1879, Dorothy, b. ca. 1878), 1884
Oil on canvas
Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"Gabriel Fauré" (1845-1924), ca. 1889
Oil on canvas
Musée de la Musique, Cité de la Musique, Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"La Carmencita" (1868-1910), 1890
Oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925)
"In the Garden, Corfu" (focus on Jane de Glehn, 1873-1961), 1909
Oil on canvas
Private Collection
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net