Mrs. Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr., John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

Mrs. Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr., 1891

Oil on canvas

Purchase, 1969 (3584.1)

Seated on a stylish gilt sofa, Mrs. Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr., looks out at the viewer with refined assurance. A woman of considerable wealth and social rank, Mrs. Manson received this portrait as a gift for hosting John Singer Sargent in her New York City home during the artist's second visit to the United States. Sargent, who trained in Paris but settled permanently in England, traveled twice to America to expand his reputation as the most sought-after society portraitist of his day. His popularity among the elite derived from his fluid brushwork, exquisite color harmonies, and remarkable ability both to reveal and to flatter the physical and psychological character of his sitters. Here, Sargent has lavished attention on Mrs. Manson's dress and decor, even as he carefully recorded her distinctive physiognomy.