Thursday, August 29, 2019

"Sitting Idly By"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

I've shied away from painting artists set up in the museum, painting a chosen work of art.  I don't know why.  This gentleman's choice was a great one, a portrait by John Singer Sargent, Ellen Peabody Endicott (Mrs. William Crowninshield Endicott) - a daunting challenge for any artist studying Sargent's paintings.  

Ellen Peabody was born into a wealthy, Salem, Massachusetts shipping family - grew into a socialite in Boston, married William Crowninshield Endicott who served on the Massachusetts Supreme Court and became President Grover Cleveland's secretary of war.  Although it's not confirmed, at the time of the sitting, Ellen was possibly in mourning after her husband's recent death, explaining her black dress and somber expression. 

Sargent's portrait hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

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