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Mrs. Edward Goetz

John Singer Sargent (1856–1929), Mrs. Edward Goetz, 1901, oil on canvas, 58 1/2 x 42 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack R. and Mary Lois Wheatley.


Sargent’s portrait of Mrs. Goetz in elegant clothing and dignified pose indicates her privileged status. Of the upper class himself, Sargent was born to American expatriate parents in Europe and did not visit the United States until he was twenty-one. For twenty years, beginning in the 1880s, he painted portraits of the elite on both sides of the Atlantic. His magical brush captured details with few strokes and enhanced the loveliness of his women sitters in an era when women’s beauty was thought to purify and elevate the world around them.

Curricular Resources

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Turn of the 20th Century The Individual and the Public Eye