Mrs. Jacob Wendell
Oil on canvas
Framed: 70 1/2 × 47 1/2 × 3 1/2 in. (179.1 × 120.7 × 8.9 cm) Unframed: 60 1/4 × 36 in. (153 × 91.4 cm)
Signed lower left: "John S. Sargent" Dated upper right: 1888
Portrait of Mary Barrett Wendell (1832-1912) by John Singer Sargent. The fifty-six-year-old woman wears a splendid gown accented with iridescent Indian beetle-wing embroidery, her hair is fashionably dressed, and she is flanked by a luxuriant arrangement of hydrangeas.
John Singer Sargent painted this portrait of Mary Barrett Wendell (1832-1912) in May 1888, at the close of his first professional foray on American soil. The sitter was a daughter of the Boston merchant Nathaniel Augustus Barrett and the former Sally Dorr. Both families had deep colonial roots and the Dorrs had made a fortune in the fur trade. She married Jacob Wendell in Boston in 1854, approximately a year after he had moved from his native Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and joined the firm of J.C. Howe & Co., agents in woollen sales.
Gift of the Roger and Susan Hertog Charitable Fund and Jan and Warren Adelson
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.