N03709 ALFRED, SON OF ASHER WERTHEIMER (?) 1901
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.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II