William M. Chase, N. A.

John Singer Sargent American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 771

William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) was a leading art teacher (primarily in New York) and an admirer of Sargent’s work. A group of his students commissioned this portrait, intending to give it to the Metropolitan in his honor. Painted in Sargent’s London studio, it shows Chase in what he called his “old blue studio coat,” which Sargent insisted he wear instead of the frock coat he preferred. Chase’s working attire, palette, poised brush, and assured stance suggest his dual persona as a painter and a gentleman. (The initials in the title indicate his election to New York’s National Academy of Design.) The students raised the money to pay Sargent by exhibiting the painting in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

William M. Chase, N. A., John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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