Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘John S. Sargent 1902’ t.r.
Canvas, 64 1/4×45 1/4 (163×115).
Presented to the National Gallery by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes 1922; transferred 1926.
Coll: As for N03705.
Exh: R.A., 1902 (157).
Lit: Robert Ross, ‘The Wertheimer Sargents’ in Art Journal, 1911, pp.4, 7, repr. p.7; Downes, 1925, pp.57, 198–9; Charteris, 1927, p.270, repr. facing p.168; Mount, 1955, pp.225, 234–5, 437; McKibbin, 1956, p.130; Mount, 1957, pp.187, 346.
Repr: Manson and Meynell, 1927, n.p.

Alfred (1876–1901), the second eldest Wertheimer son, was a chemist by profession, hence the two glass retorts which are shown hanging against the wall in the top left-hand corner of the picture. According to Robert Ross the sitter died in the year this portrait was painted, at the age of twenty-five in South Africa. However Mr John Mathias gives the year of Alfred Wertheimer's death as 1901 (letter of 8 June 1961), which would tally with the sitter's age. The artist could have signed and dated the painting later, in the year of its exhibition at the Academy.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II