John Singer Sargent
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer 1902

Artwork details

John Singer Sargent 1856–1925
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer
Date 1902
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1613 x 1937 mm
Acquisition Presented by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes 1922
Not on display

Display caption

These three Wertheimer children were painted in the schoolroom of their home at 8 Connaught Place, London. Essie (aged 22) is presented as an adult, seated slightly detached on the sofa with a small dog on her lap. Her younger siblings, Ruby (aged 12) and Ferdinand (13), lean more informally across an ottoman, dressed in clothes typical of the upper classes at this time.

Despite the naturalness of the grouping, certain critics disliked the atmosphere of privilege. The Spectator observed 'Here the pet dogs are bedecked with bows, and the air we feel smells of scent and burnt pastilles'.

July 2004

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