Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Where's the dog?
John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Mr and Mrs I N Phelps Stokes was a wedding gift to the couple from a friend. Sargent’s original intention in a series of preparatory sessions was to depict Edith Phelps Stokes wearing an evening dress and standing alone. Seeing her as she arrived in his studio to pose, wearing everyday attire, Sargent decided to change his plan for the portrait. She was to be accompanied in the portrait by a Great Dane but, when the dog that Sargent had in mind became unavailable, Edith’s husband suggested that he take its place in the portrait.