In February 1896 the Metropolitan’s trustees resolved to recognize the contributions to the Museum of Henry G. Marquand (1819–1902) by commissioning his portrait. Marquand had made his fortune in real estate, banking, and railroads. After 1880 he devoted himself to collecting art and to the Metropolitan Museum, to which he gave a noteworthy assemblage of old master paintings in 1889 and which he served, as its second president, from 1889 to 1902. In the portrait, which Sargent executed in his London studio during the summer of 1897, the probing gaze of the seventy-eight-year-old Marquand belies his ill health.
Signature: [at lower left]: John S. Sargent
commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1896