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Mrs. Frederick Barnard

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Alice Barnard (1847–1918) was the wife of painter and illustrator Frederick Barnard, who was one of the Broadway artists. Their daughters, Polly and Dorothy, were the models for Sargent’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885–86, Tate, United Kingdom). A mutual friend remembered Alice as "one of the features of the old-time Broadway [who] sat to all the artists in turn as the typical English beauty."
In a number of informal portraits and sketches that Sargent made around this date, he explores the effects of warm light, in this instance reflected on white fabric, and applies an Impressionistic technique. Sargent and his friends were attracted to Broadway for its pastoral context, which they associated with a simpler rural past. This nostalgia is reflected in Barnard’s old-fashioned dress, which represents a style of the 1830s.

Mrs. Frederick Barnard, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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