On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife
John Singer Sargent American
Not on view
Sargent had known Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) since his early years in Paris. He produced three portraits of the noted author. This, the second, was painted in Stevenson’s house in Bournemouth, England, when his literary star was in its ascendancy.
Sargent captures Stevenson’s nervous energy, showing him "walking about and talking." He strides away from his wife, Fanny Stevenson (1840– 1914), who, draped in exotic garb, is the peripheral, and apparently passive, figure in the painting, despite her redoubtable personality. Sargent exploits the distance between them by creating a void beyond the open door at the center of the eccentric composition. Stevenson admired the portrait, noting that it had "that witty touch of Sargent’s; but of course it looks dam queer as a whole."