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Judith Gautier

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

A distinguished Sinologist who translated Chinese and Japanese texts, Judith Gautier (1845–1917) was at the center of French literary and artistic circles. She was aware of Sargent at an early stage in his career and wrote important reviews of works that he exhibited at the Salon identifying him as an artist with an absolute sense of his own artistic personality. Gautier was the last love and muse of composer Richard Wagner, whom Sargent deeply admired.
Sargent produced a series of uncommissioned portraits of Gautier in several media, which he later presented to her as gifts. They were probably all executed during the summer of 1883, when Sargent was in Brittany painting Madame X (on view nearby). Here, Sargent presents Gautier, who was known as a great beauty, in her element, wearing her customary white robe and standing aside her piano in a moody interior.

Judith Gautier, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on panel, American

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