Born an American expatriate, John Singer Sargent is known for his portraits of upper-class patrons, a class of which he was a part. With simple yet bold brushstrokes, he captures the delicate lace in Mrs. Edward Goetz’s shawl, the gentle curl in her hair, and the warm look on her face. Though no instruments are included in the portrait, Sargent acknowledges this pianist and musical salon hostess in the relaxed curl of her fingers and her effortlessly upright posture. By 1907, only a few years after Sargent painted Mrs. Edward Goetz, he grew tired of portraiture and turned to watercolor landscapes instead. This week we celebrate Sargent’s birthday and the treasures he created in his lifetime.
Mrs. Edward Goetz is on view in From the Vault: American Highlights and Recent Acquisitions.