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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.

September 2004