Saturday, February 17, 2018


9 x 12"
oil on panel

Speaking of Presidential portraits.... my painting features John Singer Sargent's Theodore Roosevelt.

In February 1903, at the invitation of the first family, Sargent was a White House guest for a week - there to complete Teddy Roosevelt's official Presidential portrait. It apparently wasn't easy - Sargent had trouble choosing a suitable place to paint, with good lighting and wanted to check out the second floor's options.  As the President and the artist climbed the stairs, Roosevelt told Sargent he didn't think the artist knew what he wanted. Sargent replied that Roosevelt didn't realize what was involved in posing for a portrait. At the top of the stairs, Roosevelt swung his body around, placing his hand on the newel and bellowed 'Don't I!'.  At that moment, Sargent told the President not to move, that would be the pose and the location for the sittings.

Despite a frustrating week for Sargent, in the end, Roosevelt considered the portrait a complete success. 

This painting will be included in my solo show Sargentology, opening March 2nd at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston.

Please click here for a larger view.

1 comment:

Meera Rao said...

What a wonderful painting (yours!) and a neat story about Sargent and Roosevelt!