John Singer Sargent - Charles Martin Loeffler, 1903

John Singer Sargent (Florence, 1856 - 1925, London)

Charles Martin Loeffler, 1903

Oil on canvas, 87 x 62 cm (34 1/4 x 24 7/16 in.) canvas


Object details

Accession number



Birthday gift from John Singer Sargent to Isabella Stewart Gardner on 14 April 1903.


Inscribed and signed upper right: To Mrs. Gardner, con buone feste / from her friend John S. Sargent
Signed (frame, verso): Prendergast / 1903
Printed label (upper right verso of the frame): Museum of Fine Arts / 457CB / Boston Mass
Label (upper left verso of the frame): Write Plainly / Canvas in Good Order Yes X / Frame " " " Yes X / Glass " " " none / The above to be filled by Entry Clerk only / Title: Loeffler the Violinist / Artist: John S. Sargent / Owner: Mrs. I. S. Gardener (sic) / Address: Green Hill Boston Mass / Return to: above / Cartman:


"Report of the Keeper of Paintings." Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, 1903), p. 107.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 15.
Morris Carter. "Mrs. Gardner & The Treasures of Fenway Court" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 61.
“Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 7, no. 39 (24 May 1964), p. 2.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 225-26.
Ralph P. Locke. "Charles Martin Loeffler: Composer at Court." Fenway Court (1974), pp. 30-37, ill. 30.
Efrat Adler Porat. Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890): Pioneer for American Impressionist Landscape. MA Diss. (Tufts University, 1984), pp. 39, 175, fig. 13.
Erica Hirshler. Denis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist. Exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art and Denver: Denver Art Museum, 1995), p. 171, fig. 78.
Hilliard Goldfarb and Erica Hirshler. Dennis Miller Bunker and His Circle. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1995), pp. 36-37, no. 16.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. XVII.
Richard Ormond et al. Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends. Exh. cat. (London: National Portrait Gallery and New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015), pp. 175-76, 196-97, cat. 74.
Barbara Dayer Gallati. John Singer Sargent: Painting Friends (London, 2015), pp. 76-77, cat. 31.
Jacob Simon. "John Singer Sargent and the Framing of His Pictures" in Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray (ed.). John Singer Sargent Figures and Landscapes, 1914-1925: Complete Paintings, Vol. IX (New Haven and London, 2016), p. 69, figs. 67-68. [as the frame made by artist and framemaker Charles Prendergast (1864-1948)]
Christina Nielsen (ed.). Sargent on Location: Gardner's First Artist-in-Residence. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2018), pp. 20-23, ill. p. 24, fig. 12.

Rights and reproductions

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review Rights and Reproductions for details.


This fresh and spontaneous portrait links three close friends: Isabella Stewart Gardner, John Singer Sargent, and the sitter, Charles Loeffler (1861-1935), who was a composer and violinist. A month after Fenway Court opened, Gardner invited Sargent to use the Gothic Room as his studio. Sargent painted Loeffler's portrait there in less than three hours, and then presented it to Mrs. Gardner on her birthday. Born in France, Loeffler immigrated to the United States in 1881. He was joint first violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but left to devote himself to composing. A few days after receiving this portrait, Gardner presented a concert of Loeffler's compositions at Fenway Court, including the premiere of his Pagan Poem.

Source: Alan Chong, "Music and Life at Fenway Court," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): XVIII.