Wednesday, September 1, 2010

John Singer Sargent's Baby Sister & Model Violet

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) 1875

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) was John Singer Sargent's (1856 - 1925) youngest sister. John was 14 years older than Violet. After studying at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Violet married Francis Ormond. Of John's 3 siblings, Violet was the only one to marry, and she would have 6 children. John would paint his sister over & over. These are some of his portraits of his baby sister.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) 1881

In 1889, John Singer Sargent, 33 years old, traveled back & forth between Paris & London, painting several portraits of his sister Violet. It was a momentous year for both of them, for their whole family.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) 1883

On April 25th Dr. FitzWilliam Sargent (John's father) dies at the age of 69. In his life he had pursued a successful medical career in Philadelphia until 1854, when he & his wife, Mary Newbold Singer Sargent, traveled to Europe -- never to live in the United States again.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) 1883

In the summer after his father's death, he cancels a visit with Monet at Giverny and returns to England to be with his family (his mother & two sisters) at Fladbury Rectory, Pershore, on the river Avon.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) The Breakfast Table 1884

There he paints Lady Fishing - Mrs. Ormond is his sister Violet Sargent Ormond (before she was married). She would have been about 19 years old. Then he paints A Boating Party which probably includes Violet again.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) and Flora Priestley 1889

On December 4th, he sails for New York taking his sister Violet with him. She had been in a relationship with Francis Ormond of whom the newly widowed Mrs. Sargent (their mother) didn't approve. It was their intent to separate the two lovers and for John to introduce her to eligible American gentlemen. It did not work, Violet married Francis.

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) 1889

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) Lady Fishing -- Mrs Ormond 1889

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) Resting on the Grass 1889

Violet Sargent Autumn on the River 1889

Violet Sargent Ormond's Children Conrad (1898-1979) and Reine (1897-1971) Conrad 1906

Violet Sargent (1870-1955) Violet Sleeping 1908