John Singer Sargent

Lady Fishing - Mrs Ormond


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Not on display

John Singer Sargent 1856–1925
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1848 × 978 mm
frame: 1912 × 1058 × 75 mm
Presented by Miss Emily Sargent in memory of her brother through the Art Fund 1929

Display caption

In the summer of 1889 Sargent rented a large house in Fladbury, beside the River Avon. There he made a small oil sketch of his sister Violet standing on the river bank, holding a long fishing rod. She then posed for him for this large painting, probably out of doors, though not beside the river. The painting is unfinished, and Sargent has not yet added the fishing rod. The canvas was later rolled up, making the creases which you can see along the right hand side.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Not inscribed.
Canvas, 72 3/4×38 1/2 (185×98).
Presented by Miss Emily Sargent in memory of her brother through the National Art-Collections Fund 1929.
Exh: R.A., winter 1926 (403), as ‘Fishing’ (repr. Illustrations of the Sargent Exhibition, p.58); Tate Gallery, June–October 1926.
Lit: Charteris, 1927, pp.99, 283; N.A.C.F. Report 1929, 1930, p.44; Mount, 1955, p.446; McKibbin, 1956, p.113; Mount, 1957, p.356.
Repr: National Gallery, Millbank [Tate Gallery], Review of the Acquisitions 1927–29, 1930, frontispiece.

A portrait of the artist's younger sister, Violet Sargent, later Mrs Francis Ormond, painted at Fladbury in 1889. The same sitter appears in another full-length sketch, ‘The Morning Walk’, painted in the same year and with the River Avon again as background. A small oil sketch for N04466, 28 1/2×21 in., was shown at the R.A. Sargent Memorial exhibition, 1926 (96), and belonged to Mrs Hugo Pitman, to whom it is inscribed: ‘To Reine’.

The fishing rod is only partially indicated in the large Tate version, and, in fact, Miss Emily Sargent described the picture as ‘not quite finished’ in a letter to J. B. Manson (10 July 1929).

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

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