National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Peter A. B. Widener John Singer Sargent (artist)
American, 1856 - 1925
Peter A. B. Widener, 1902
oil on canvas
overall: 148.9 x 98.4 cm (58 5/8 x 38 3/4 in.) framed: 181.9 x 131.1 cm (71 5/8 x 51 5/8 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.101
On View
From the Tour: Founding Benefactors of the National Gallery of Art
Object 4 of 9

During the Civil War, Peter Arrell Brown Widener (1834-1915) was a tradesman who supplied meat to the Union Army near Philadelphia. Following the war, he successfully invested his profits in trolley cars and public transit systems. He collected in the princely tradition; antique furniture, tapestries, and decorative arts created a palatial setting for his Old Master paintings and sculpture. Widener also set an important precedent for other American collectors by acquiring the works of Edouard Manet and Auguste Renoir when these artists were still considered daringly avant-garde. P. A. B. Widener left the family collection in trust to his son, Joseph, for eventual donation to a public museum.

John Singer Sargent, an American artist who was a cosmopolitan celebrity, painted this shadowed, sober portrait of Peter A. B. Widener in London.

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