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Identification and Creation

Object Number
John Singer Sargent, American (Florence, Italy 1856 - 1925 London, England)
Album of Figure Studies
Work Type
c. 1890 - 1915
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Album with black cloth-covered cardboard covers, and thirty drawings
73.4 x 56.9 cm (28 7/8 x 22 3/8 in.)
each page: 72.1 x 54 cm (28 3/8 x 21 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: cover of album, white chalk?: Drawings Sargent


Recorded Ownership History
To the artist's sisters, Violet (Mrs. Francis) Ormond and Emily Sargent, at his death, 1925; gift of Mrs. Ormond to the Fogg Art Museum, 1937.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Album with black-cloth-covered cardboard covers, brown-leather-covered spine and corners; and remains of ties. Silked- (treated with clay to resemble silk), marbled-, and gilt-paper endpapers. Fifty pages of cream cardboard adhered to stubs (linen over paper) in a post binding. A number of sheets have been removed.

Contents: Primarily studies of male nudes, some of whom may be Sargent’s valet, Nicola d’Inverno. Several drawings of draped male nudes and two figures in Biblical costume for Amsterdam Bible project commissioned in 1895 (fols. 14, 16, 17A, 17B, see Fairbrother 1981, note 1; Promey 1999, p. 319, note 19). Heads of Crescenzo Fusciardi (fol. 13) and Nicola d'Inverno(?) (fol. 29). This album contains thirty charcoal drawings of models and one collotype. Most of the drawings cannot be dated, but the group was probably executed during the period from 1890 to 1915, when Sargent was involved in the Boston Public Library mural project.

Publication History

  • Trevor J. Fairbrother, "A Private Album: John Singer Sargent's Studies of Nude Male Models", Arts Magazine (December 1981), vol. LVI, no. 4, pp. 70-79
  • Improper Bostonians, Beacon Press (Boston, MA, 1998), p. 91
  • Miriam Stewart and Kerry Schauber, "Catalogue of Sketchbooks and Albums by John Singer Sargent at the Fogg Art Museum", Harvard University Art Museums Bulletin (Cambridge, MA, Fall 1999 - Winter 2000), vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 16-38, pp. 34-36
  • Stephanie Herdrich and Helen Barbara Weinberg, American Drawings and Watercolors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: John Singer Sargent, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 2000), p. 48, under no. 8; p. 265, under no. 233 (whole album cited)
  • Trevor J. Fairbrother, John Singer Sargent: The Sensualist, exh. cat., Seattle Art Museum/Yale University Press (Seattle, WA and New Haven, CT, 2000), pp. 104-111, 154, 180 (whole album cited); all repr. following p. 180
  • Dorothy Moss, "John Singer Sargent, 'Madame X' and 'Baby Millbank'", The Burlington Magazine (May 2001), CXLIII, no. 1178, pp. 268-275, note, p. 275
  • Stephen Kinzer, "Sargent Show Reveals the Bold Strokes of a Shy Painter", The New York Times (March 15, 2001), pp. B1-B2, p. B2
  • Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1883-1899, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven and London, 2010), pp. 324, 325 note 8
  • Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1900-1907, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven and London, 2012), p. 36
  • American Art, auct. cat., Sotheby's, New York (New York, May 20, 2015), p. 13
  • Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1914-1925, Yale University Press (New Haven, 2016), pp. 290, 291
  • Ana Muñoz Martin, "Bodies on the Threshold: The Significance of Fabrics in John Singer Sargent's Male Nudes, 1890-1915", Visual Culture in Britain (2018), 19:1, pp. 66-88, pp. 69, 75-77, 79, 82, 83
  • John Singer Sargent, exh. cat., Nationalmuseum (Stockholm, 2018), p. 154
  • Nathaniel Silver, Boston's Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent, exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2020), pp. 125-126, 128
  • Paul Fisher, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent in His World, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, 2022), pp. 44, 264, 381

Exhibition History

  • John Singer Sargent, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 12/14/2000 - 03/18/2001

Related Works

Verification Level

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