8 June 2006
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
How they met themselves
bronze, mid-brown patina
9¾ in. (24.7 cm.) high
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E. Charteris, John Sargent, London, 1927, p.88.
B. Read and J. Barnes, Pre-Raphaelite Sculpture: Nature & Imagination in British Sculpture, London, 1991, no. 47, p. 136.
Sargent began sculpting relatively late in the 1890s and the present example dates to after 1900. The subject for this bronze figurative composition is inspired by a Rossetti pen and ink drawing of the same title now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. This illustrated the legend of the 'Doppelganger' in which two medieval lovers happen across their supernatural counterparts whilst walking in the woods at night. According to Charteris, Sargent 'entertained a deep admiration for Rossetti' and owned an engraving of the drawing. He is recorded as having said of it: 'That is the difficult thing to do, anyone can paint, but to design a group so that it will - well, do in sculpture - that's what counts. Rossetti could do it.'
A further example of this bronze may be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.
We are grateful to Richard Ormond for pointing out the difficulty of dating this cast precisely. A number of casts were made both during Sargent's lifetime, pre-1925, and as the late as the 1960s.
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