About this artwork
Portrayed here is Violet Sargent, the sister of the painter John Singer Sargent. Augustus Saint-Gaudens produced this bronze relief in exchange for a portrait of his wife and son by Sargent. Clothed in contemporary dress and playing a guitar, Violet projects charm, elegance, and sophistication—similar to a sitter in a Sargent portrait in oil. Musical instruments were often included in late 19th-century depictions of young upper-class women as a way of suggesting the leisure and refinement these women were expected to embody. The varying degrees of relief and the harmonious lines of this work attest to Saint-Gaudens’s technical prowess and his sensitivity to the medium of bronze.
- Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Sculptor)
- Violet Sargent
- New Hampshire
- Modeled 1890
- Inscribed in wreath upper right: "Violet Sargent" Signed on bench:"A ST G / MDCCCLXXXX / FECIT"
- 127 × 87 cm (50 × 34 1/4 in.)
- Gift of Brooks McCormick