John Singer Sargent - Mrs. Gardner in White, 1922

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

Mrs. Gardner in White, 1922

Watercolor on paper, 43 x 32 cm (16 15/16 x 12 5/8 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Gift from John Singer Sargent to Isabella Stewart Gardner on 26 September 1922.


Inscribed and signed in ink (upper right): To my friend Mrs Gardner / John S. Sargent

Dimension Notes

Frame: 62.23 x 49.53 cm (24 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.)


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 74.
Morris Carter. "Mrs. Gardner & The Treasures of Fenway Court" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 55.
Kristin A. Mortimer. "Report of the Acting Director." Fenway Court (1988), p. 68, ill. 62.
Corinna Lindon Smith. Interesting People (Norman, Oklahoma, 1962), pp. 156-157.
“Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 31 (31 Mar. 1963), p. 2. (excerpting Corinna Lindon Smith, pp. 156-57)
Rollin Hadley. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 8, no. 15 (13 Dec. 1964), p. 2.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "Mrs. Gardner Comes to Call." Fenway Court (1972), p. 40, ill. 41.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 231-32.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), pp. 224-25.
Fausto Calderai and Alan Chong. Furnishing a Museum: Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Collection of Italian Furniture (Boston, 2011), pp. 72-73, fig. B.
Christine M. E. Guth. "Multisensorial Asia" in Alan Chong and Noriko Murai (eds.). Inventing Asia: American Perspectives Around 1900. Fenway Court, vol. 33 (Boston, 2014), pp. 92-93, fig. 8.

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John Singer Sargent painted this portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner shortly after she had suffered a debilitating stroke, and he was working on the mural decoration for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She described this work as an informal sketch, and called it “a water-colour, not meant, I hope, to look like me.” The calmness of her pose and shroud-like swath of white fabric express an otherworldliness that bears little resemblance to her previous ebullient character. This is the last portrait of Isabella before her death in 1924.