13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
13/07/2022
Artist Spotlight
Alfred Portman-Corroll
Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent's Wertheimer Portraits
Inspired by Tate Britain's currently-running display, we take a closer look at John Singer Sargent's series of Wertheimer Family Portraits...
Essie, Ruby and Ferdinand, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1902). Credit: Tate Britain.

A temporary exhibition at Tate Britain displays nine of Sargent’s portraits of the Wertheimer family in one room for the first time since 1926. 

John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is one of the most iconic painters of the Victorian and Edwardian era, despite being best known for his portraits he was also a gifted landscape painter and watercolourist. 

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to American parents. He went on to study painting in Paris under Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917). Studying under Carolus-Duran would be seminal in Sargent’s artistic development. Carolus-Duran’s atelier was progressive, rejecting the traditional academic approach of careful drawing, in favour of the ‘alla prima’ method - working directly on the canvas. This style of painting, with a loaded brush, gives a vitality to Sargent’s work which is especially evident in his portraiture. This natural and emotional flair caught the ‘Victwardian’ elite’s eye and it became fashionable to be painted by Sargent. 

The Wertheimer family portraits were Sargent’s largest commission and contain some of his best work. Asher Wertheimer (1843–1918) had built on the success of his father Samson Wertheimer, who had fled anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1830s and opened an illustrious decorative arts business in Bond Street. Asher inherited the business and began dealing in fine art. 

Hylda, Almina and Conway, Children of Asher Wertheimer (1905)

In 1896, Asher commissioned Sargent to paint five portraits of his family for his 25th wedding anniversary. The two became close friends and Sargent frequently dined at the Wertheimer’s home, over the next decade Sargent painted a further seven portraits for the family. 

In 1926, Asher bequeathed the paintings to the nation with the wish they be displayed together in one room at the National Gallery which they were for four years, until they were moved to the Tate for a newly created Sargent room. 

To have a portrait painted by Sargent was a status symbol; to have one’s entire family painted by Sargent was practically unheard of. This led to criticism from high society who felt that only aristocrats were worthy of such representation. Being foreign, Jewish and from a commercial background and yet being portrayed in the style of 18th century aristocracy was seen as distasteful. 

Interestingly, when the paintings had been displayed individually, they had been well received, with critics commenting “Masterpiece”, “Nothing short of amazing” “[What] sheer power of expression”. It was only when they were exhibited as a group the perception changed…

 Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer (1901)

The bequest and wish for the portraits to be displayed together was seen as a distasteful display of wealth with opponents claiming it was Jewish excess and asking “Is there any other gallery that has been given so many paintings? 

Since the paintings would hang among royalty, clergy and historical figures, to have a room dedicated to one family deemed outside the British establishment was so controversial that it was debated in Parliament. One MP commented "these clever, but extremely repulsive, pictures should be placed in a special chamber of horrors". 

During the 1920s, Britain was a very Anglo-Saxon society. To contemporary viewers the race of the family would have been protuberant while today it is not something we would immediately register or even notice at all. Contemporary critics picked up on facial characteristics describing them as caricature-like and projected racial stereotypes onto the sitters.

Portrait of Asher Wertheimer – Credit Tate Britain

For example, in the portrait of Asher, critics noted the posture and claimed the cigar in one hand and thumb in the pocket of the other alluded to Asher counting his shekels, while his slight smile was interpreted as devious and untrustworthy. Rather than see the dark background as a sign of modesty it was seen as alluding to turpitude. While the oriental costume of Almina in one portrait and Ena dressed in the uniform of the Order of the Garter in another play directly on themes of race and social status. 

RIGHT: Portrait of Ena Wertheimer: A Vele Gonfie (1904) | LEFT: Almina, Daughter of Asher Wertheimer (1908)

Without knowing the story, the room can be easily overlooked by visitors to the museum today. The paintings are testament to the contests fought during societal change and are another classic example of the “New Money vs Old Money” trope. If you get a chance it is definitely worth visiting before 24th July, after which the paintings will be separated once again. 

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
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