Leonard ‘Ginx’ Harrison was the son of the stockbroker Lawrence Harrison (1834-1899) whom Sargent painted in circa 1899 (R. Ormond & E. Kilmurary, John Singer Sargent, Portraits of the 1890s, London, 2002, p. 165, no. 374). Leonard and his brother Lawrence Alexander ‘Peter’ Harrison (1866-1937) became close friends of Sargent and the artist’s sisters, living near each other in Chelsea. Leonard’s brother Peter, was an artist who joined the New English Art Club in 1904, but rarely exhibited his work (for a portrait of Peter by Sargent, see Ormond & Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent, The Later Portraits, London, 2002, p. 91, no. 433). Peter married the poet and musician Alma Stettell in 1890. She was a friend and subject of Sargent’s and it is probable that she introduced Sargent to the Harrison family. ‘Ginx’ and his brother were part of the group including Sargent and his sisters, the De Glehns and Dorothy Palmer who spent sketching holidays in Switzerland (circa 1902-12). The present drawing dates from the party’s trip in summer 1909 to the Simplon Pass, Switzerland. The dramatic crossing links the Canton of Valais from the town of Brig with the Divedro Valley in Northern Italy.
We are grateful to Richard Ormond for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.