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.)


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.