John Singer Sargent (artist)|
American, 1856 - 1925
Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911
oil on canvas
overall: 63.8 x 76.2 cm (25 1/8 x 30 in.) framed: 86.7 x 99.4 x 10.2 cm (34 1/8 x 39 1/8 x 4 in.)
Gift of Curt H. Reisinger
Object 4 of 7
Purchased by Hugo Reisinger [1856-1914], New York; his wife, Edmée Busch Reisinger [later Mrs. Charles E. Greenough, d. 1955], New York; her son, Curt H. Reisinger [d. 1964], New York; gift 1948 to NGA.
 [The first paragraph of this note was published in 1998 in the NGA systematic catalogue entry. The second paragraph adds further explanation and was published in 1999 in the catalogue of the Sargent exhibition shown in London, Washington, D.C., and Boston.] This information comes from a 21 April 1912 letter written by the American artist Gari Melchers to Frederick B. McGuire, Director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Melchers, who was in Europe for most of 1912, had been asked by the Corcoran to serve as the chairman of its 4th Biennial jury, and he wrote to McGuire: "Let me suggest a very beautiful little picture of Sargents which was bought by Mr. Hugo Reisinger in London last summer , 'A seated girl with a shawl' perhaps you could secure that from our friend Reisinger." (Original correspondence is in The Corcoran Gallery and School of Art Archives, copy in NGA curatorial files; kindly provided by Marisa Keller, Archivist.) This information is at odds with a 6 December 1948 letter from Curt Reisinger's secretary to John Walker, then Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Art, that says "The Sargent, called 'Nonchaloire [sic]', was bought by the late Hugo Reisinger from C. L. Hinds (Mrs. Lewis Hinds), London, in December 1912." The Melchers correspondence indicates that Reisinger was the acknowledged owner of the painting before December 1912. The painting was first shown in the summer 1911 exhibition of the New English Art Club in London. Paintings in the exhibition were for sale, and it is possible that is where Reisinger purchased it; however, there are no records of sales or purchasers' names (letter of 5 August 1996 from Margaret Thomas, Archivist to the New English Art Club, in NGA curatorial files).
The Sargent catalogue raisonné archive contains a photocopy of a letter, from an untraced source, written by the artist to Mrs. Lewis Hind on 29 April 1911: "I promised to let you know when I had done certain things to the little picture of the woman on the sofa, in case you should wish to buy it for your German friend. She now has a head and hands and I [am] sending her to the New English [Art] Club where she [will] be on sale at the price of 300 pounds..." This would appear to explain the information cited above; apparently Mrs. Hinds did purchase the painting for Mr. Reisinger. (Elaine Kilmurray and Richard Ormond, eds. John Singer Sargent. Exh. cat. Tate Gallery, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Washington, D.C., 1999: 260.)
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