John Singer Sargent

Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer

1908

Artist
John Singer Sargent 1856–1925
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1340 x 1010 mm
frame: 1613 x 1268 x 157 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes 1922
Reference
N03713

Not on display

Display caption

This painting was the last in the series of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family. Almina was Asher Wertheimer’s fifth daughter. She is shown in an exotic, ‘oriental’ costume, including an ivory-white Persian dress and a turban entwined with pearls. The white and green over-jacket was a studio prop and the musical instrument (the sarod from northern India) was owned by the artist. Such fantasy images of European women cast as alluring ‘orientals’ were highly fashionable at the turn of the twentieth-century.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

N03713 ALMINA, DAUGHTER OF ASHER WERTHEIMER 1908

Inscr. ‘John S. Sargent’ t.l. and ‘1908’ t.r.
Canvas, 52 3/4×39 3/4 (134×98·5), with painted strips 5 (13), 3 1/2 (9), 4 1/4 (11), and 5 1/2 (14) wide turned over along top, left, right and bottom edges respectively.
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: Fair Women, International Society, May–July 1910 (31), as ‘Almina’, lent by Asher Wertheimer.
Lit: Robert Ross, ‘The Wertheimer Sargents’ in Art Journal, 1911, p.8, repr. p.6; Downes, 1925, p.199; Charteris, 1927, p.270 (listed as of 1902); Mount, 1955, pp.225, 437 (as 1902); McKibbin, 1956, p.130; Mount, 1957, pp.187, 349.

The sitter, who also appears in N03712, wears Persian costume and holds a Persian sixteenth-century eight-stringed lute.

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