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Coventry Patmore

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

This portrait of Coventry Patmore (1823–1896) was painted at Sargent’s request. Sargent was attracted to the lean figure and leonine features of the aging poet. Here, the firmly set head, long neck, domed forehead, shock of white hair, spreading moustache, and fierce, keen-eyed gaze proclaim his unusual force of character and intellect.
Mutual friends observed that Sargent had seized the prophetic aspect of Patmore’s personality at the expense of his "gentler qualities." Patmore was delighted to pose for Sargent writing, "He seems to me to be the greatest . . . of all English [sic] portrait painters, and to be thus invited to sit to him for my picture is among the most single honours I have ever received."

Coventry Patmore, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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