John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Property of The Toledo Museum of Art, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

Florence Addicks

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Florence Addicks
signed 'John S. Sargent' (upper left)--dated '1890' (upper right)
oil on canvas
30 x 25 ¼ in. (76.2 x 64.1 cm.)
Painted in 1890.
The sitter or her parents.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1926.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1926.
Tolley & Allender Biays of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, 1928.
Bryn Mawr Trust Company, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Arthur J. Secor, Toledo, Ohio.
Gift to the present owner from the above, 1933.
C.M. Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, New York, 1955, p. 433.
D. McKibbin, Sargent's Boston: With an Essay & a Biographical Summary & a Complete Checklist of Sargent's Portraits, exhibition catalogue, Boston, Massachusetts, 1956, p. 81.
C.M. Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, London, 1957, p. 342.
C.M. Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, New York, 1969, p. 430.
S.E. Strickler, American Paintings: The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, 1979, p. 97, pl. 96, illustrated.
W. Adelson, M. Robertson, John Singer Sargent: His Own Work, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1980, p. 29.
T.J. Fairbrother, John Singer Sargent and America, New York, 1986, pp. 179, 181, fig. 50, illustrated.
S.L. Herdrich, H.B. Weinberg, John Singer Sargent: American Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2000, p. 393.
R. Ormond, E. Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the 1890s, vol. II, New Haven, Connecticut, 2002, p. 41, no. 255, illustrated.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundred and Twenty-first Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, January 31-March 21, 1926, no. 217.
Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Art Museum, Thirty-third Annual Exhibition of American Art, May 29-July 21, 1926, no. 33.
Dallas, Texas, Dallas Art Association, Sixth Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by Leading Living American Artists, under Auspices of Dallas Art Association, February 5-27, 1927, no. 119.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Nineteenth Annual Summer Exhibition of American Paintings, 1927, no. 12.
Utica, New York, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Expatriates: Whistler, Cassatt, Sargent, January 4-25, 1953, no. 31.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, Grand Rapids Art Gallery, Cassatt, Whistler and Sargent Exhibition, September 15-October 15, 1955, no. 24.

Lot Essay

At the turn of the twentieth century, John Singer Sargent had cemented his reputation as the premier portraitist to Europe's and America's elite, and both his commissioned portraits and celebrated Salon entries had garnered him significant critical praise. By far the most renowned and famous portraitist of his generation, Sargent painted Florence Addicks while summering in Nahant, Massachusetts with the Fairchild family in 1890.

As is typical of Sargent's best portraits, Florence Addicks conveys the sitter's character with forceful presence, achieving a quality of elegance and social ease. The artist appears to have caught the sitter in an act of leisure, while she is dressed in a stylish, luxurious gown with elegant jewelry that speak to her social standing. Miss Addicks' posture is confident yet relaxed as she looks away from the viewer with a refined grace. She wears an opulent, cream silk gown with floral embellishments and bright yellow accents, and a subtle yet brilliant jewel that glistens on her left hand, as she gracefully holds a fan. Sargent delights in his subject as he lavishes the canvas with his characteristically expressive and gestural strokes.

The painting’s sitter, Florence Addicks, "was the daughter of John Edward O'Sullivan Addicks and his first wife, Laura Watson Butcher. O'Sullivan was a businessman and politician, a pioneer in the production of illuminating gas, a director of New Amalgamated Copper Company, and a US senator; Mrs Addicks's grandfather, Washington Butcher, had been a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and president of the American Steamship Company. Florence herself was a student in the English department of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America. (R. Ormond, E. Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the 1890s, New Haven, Connecticut, 2002, p. 41)

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