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John Templeman Coolidge - John Singer Sargent Painting in the Gothic Room, 1903

John Templeman Coolidge (Boston, 1856 - 1945)

John Singer Sargent Painting Mrs. Fiske Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and Her Daughter Rachel in the Gothic Room, 1903

Platinum print , 16.2 x 13.7 cm (6 3/8 x 5 3/8 in.)

Commentary

John Singer Sargent was the first artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. During the month of April 1903 he slept in a guest room (now called the Macknight Room) and created new works of art in his temporary studio, the Gothic Room. John Templeman Coolidge, an artist and friend of Isabella’s, took several photographs of Sargent painting the portrait of Gretchen Osgood Warren and her daughter Rachel in the Gothic Room. These candid pictures show Sargent in a whirl of activity with brush and palette in hand—and a cigarette in his mouth. A dark curtain attempts to block the light coming through the stained-glass windows behind the seated pair. Surely delighted with their surroundings, Gretchen and Rachel laugh as Sargent turns to smile at the camera.