John Singer Sargent
The Misses Hunter 1902

Artwork details

John Singer Sargent 1856–1925
The Misses Hunter
Date 1902
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2292 x 2299 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Charles Hunter through the Art Fund 'in memory of a great artist and a great friend' 1926
Not on display

Display caption

Sargent was commissioned to paint Kathleen, Cary Phyllis and Sylvia Hunter by their mother Mary, who was a leading Edwardian society hostess and close friend both of Sargent and Rodin. The fan held by the centre figure echoes the overall sweep of the young women’s full skirts in what is a highly innovative composition. The sisters are seated on a ‘confidante’ circular sofa, and are shown with their dog Crack. On seeing this picture when it was first exhibited Rodin declared that Sargent was ‘the van Dyck of our times’. This is plausible, for while having absorbed the influences of impressionism, Sargent’s work was firmly and consciously rooted in the portrait traditions of van Dyck and Velázquez.

February 2010

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