Olga's Gallery

John Singer Sargent

Mrs. Henry White.

1883. Oil on canvas. The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA. Read Note.

John Singer Sargent. Mrs. Henry White.

Mrs. Henry White “was the eldest daughter of seven children born to Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, one of the chief pioneers in the development of the photographic telescope. Law, however, had been his first career, and he moved on to the stars when his wife became ill. The Rutherfurds were rich, and self-conscious. They lived in high style in New York and in New Jersey (on their estate called Tranquillity), when they were not traveling abroad. They were excessively aware that one of their ancestors had signed the Declaration of Independence. Mrs White was the fine result of such a background,, loaded down with refined tastes and she could be little else than a frosty Puritan. During the height of her English success, in 1888, she was assessed: “very handsome, young, rich, splendid, admired and successful, to a degree which leaves all competitors behind… She has never read a book in her life; but she is ‘high up’ all the same.” For some wholly uncharacteristic reason, Mrs White was called Daisy.” (John Singer Sargent. His Portrait. by Stanley Olson. Macmillan London Ltd. 1986. p 99)