DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, The fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy 1907, The Art Institute of Chicago, American Art Collection DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, Almina, daughter of Asher Wertheimer 1908, Tate, London, presented by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes in 1922
Philip Wilson STEER | Mrs Violet Hammersley

STEER, Philip Wilson
England 1860
France 1882-84, frequent visits to France thereafter
Mrs Violet Hammersley 1907
oil on canvas
214.0 (h) x 153.7 (w) cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, May Grainger Bequest Fund in 1955

By painting Mrs Violet Hammersley in the tradition of artists such as Gainsborough, Steer gave added resonance to his subject. The pose of Mrs Hammersley was probably based on François Boucher’s portrait of Madame de Pompadour c.1760 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).

Recalling her time sitting for the painting with great fondness Mrs Hammersley commented: ‘I sat to him all through the winter and spring and into the summer of 1907, and we had near a hundred sittings. These took place at 109 Cheyne Walk, and I sat on a sofa at the end of his charming drawing room … The sitting lasted about three hours and I do not remember ever being bored for a moment’.  (quoted in MacColl, 1945)

NGA Home | Introduction | Gallery | Search | Essay | Learning | Symposium | Visiting | Previous