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.

Mrs. Edward Darley Boit (Mary Louisa Cushing)

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Edward Boit, a watercolor painter from Boston, and his wife, Mary Louisa Cushing Boit (1846–1898), were important patrons and supporters of Sargent. The daring portrait of the Boit’s four daughters, The Children of Edward Darley Boit (1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), painted by Sargent in Paris, was an important landmark in his early career. When Sargent arrived in Boston for his first professional visit in 1887, the Boits hosted him at their home and immediately commissioned this portrait of Mary Louisa ("Isa") and encouraged their affluent friends to sit for the artist.
The painting startled conservative Boston, not only because of Isa’s boisterous polka dotted dress, but also for the expression on her face. Writing about the portrait, Henry James observed, "she is wonderful and of a living! But she not only speaks—she winks—and the philistine will find her vulgar."

Mrs. Edward Darley Boit (Mary Louisa Cushing), John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.