John Singer Sargent

Mrs Frederick Barnard


Not on display

John Singer Sargent 1856–1925
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1041 × 571 mm
frame: 1215 × 745 × 90 mm
Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard 1949

Display caption

Sargent made this portrait at Broadway in the Cotswolds at the time he was working on 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose', which shows Mrs Barnard's daughters Polly and Dorothy. The lighting in both paintings is artificial, and they were posed in the evening.

Sargent, who was American, was specially invited to contribute to the New English Art Club's first exhibition in London in 1886. This portrait was one of the two pictures he showed, and the reviewer in 'The Times' singled it out, commenting that the face was 'painted with astonishing and uncompromising life-likeness, and the hands - to be quite frank - very clumsily sketched in.'

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘To Alice Barnard’ t.r., ‘John S. Sargent’ t.r., and ‘to my [remainder cut off]’ b.r.
Canvas, 41×22 1/2 (104×57).
Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard 1949.
Coll: Mrs Frederick Barnard, by descent to her daughters Miss Polly and Miss Dorothy Barnard.
Exh: N.E.A.C., April 1886 (17); Fair Women, International Society, May–July 1910 (29); (?) Anglo-American Exhibition, Shepherd's Bush, 1914; R.A., winter 1926 (41, repr. Illustrations of the Sargent Exhibition, p.22).
Lit: Downes, 1925, pp.138–9; Charteris, 1927, pp.90, 259; Mount, 1955, pp.112, 411, 431; McKibbin, 1956, p.83; Mount, 1957, pp.94, 339.

This portrait of Mrs Frederick Barnard (Alice Faraday), wife of the illustrator, whom she married in 1870, was painted at Broadway, Worcestershire, in 1885, at the time when Sargent was working on ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ (N01615), and using her daughters Polly and Dorothy as models (see also A00850 and A00851). Mrs Barnard was a niece of Michael Faraday, the physicist.

The painting has been cut down on the right side and there is a photograph in the Frick Art Reference Library which shows it before this alteration was made. The first version of N05901 is said to have been painted on the strip of canvas torn from the left side of ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ (Mount, 1955, p.112, and 1957, p.94, and verbal information to the compiler). This version belongs to Dr John A. P. Millet.

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

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