John Singer Sargent 1856 - 1925
- John Singer Sargent
- Study for Madame Gautreau Drinking a Toast
- inscribed John S. Sargent , u.l.and Tuesday/les Chiens, u.r. in another hand
- pencil and charcoal on paper
- 12 1/2 by 9 1/4 in.
- 32 by 23.2 cm.
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York (acquired from the above)
Purchased from the above by the present owner, 1954
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Together with a letter about the drawing from the director of the Grand Central Art Galleries dated February 26, 1954 to the present owner.
The present drawing is a preparatory sketch for the oil, 'Madame Gautreau Drinking a Toast' in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
The beautiful Madame Gautreau, or 'Madame X', as she became known after Sargent's full-length portrait of her became public in 1884, was the toast of Parisian society in the early 1880s. She did not commission her portrait; rather it was a prize sought after by the fashionable artists of the day. In the end, it was Sargent who won her acceptance. Starting in early 1883, the artist began a series of sketches in an attempt to capture her exotic beauty. The process was difficult, as his exquisite subject was easily distracted and not particularly disciplined during sittings. It took many months and many poses to find the perfect one. The oil sketch of 'Madame Gautreau Drinking a Toast' was the most famous of these preliminary portraits and the current lot is a study for it.
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work by Elaine Kilmurray and Richard Ormond in collaboration with Adelson Galleries.