Oil on canvas
Framed: 249 x 134 x 9.5 cm (98 1/16 x 52 3/4 x 3 3/4 in.); Unframed: 219.3 x 104.8 cm (86 5/16 x 41 1/4 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1998.168
Elegant and poised in her silk gown, Lisa Colt Curtis does not directly engage the viewer. Sargent's portrait seems to preserve the moment just before she steps forward to greet guests.
One of the most sought-after painters of his era, Sargent achieved considerable critical and financial success portraying cosmopolitan members of high society on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, the artist depicts an acquaintance—an heir to the Colt firearms fortune—who had recently married his distant cousin Ralph. In her portrait, Curtis wears an elegant satin dress and poses as if she were welcoming guests into her palatial Venetian home. The painting apparently was a wedding gift to the couple by the artist; its inscription at the top right reads, "To Ralph and Mrs. Ralph, John S. Sargent 1898."
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