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The Wave, San Francisco, CA, “Portrait painting” by Emile Carlsen, September 26, 1891, page 8, column 2, not illustrated

September 26, 1891

ECA Record Control Number: 20106

Record Level: Reference

Record Type: Newspaper

Article Type: Artist As Lead Subject

Key Title: Portrait painting

Sub Title: -none-

Language: English

Author: Emile Carlsen  [Emil Carlsen]

Publisher: The Wave
Publish Location: San Francisco, CA

Date of Publication: September 26, 1891

Page: 8, column 2, not illustrated

Source: unknown [perhaps from Bill Gerdtz private collection]

Description: 1 newspaper clipping

Carlsen, Emil, 1848-1932.

Number of copies: 1

Digitized: yes


The Wave, San Francisco, CA, "Portrait painting" by Emile Carlsen, September 26, 1891, page 8, column 2, not illustrated.

The Wave, San Francisco, CA, “Portrait painting” by Emile Carlsen, September 26, 1891, page 8, column 2, not illustrated.


Portrait painting.


The most competent critics proclaim Sargent’s portrait of Beatrice Goelet not only the best modern painting, but as good a canvas has been painted by any man at any time.

At the Exhibition of the Society of American Artists, Mr. John S. Sargent’s portrait of Beatrice, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goelet, of New York, received unlimited praise from all the artists, and, in their opinion, placed Sargent at the head of living portrait painters.

A portrait, if it is not a mere draft on the vulgar vanity of the sitter, is the concentration of historical painting. It shows us the character of our ancestors, and a collection of them should reproduce for us the whole period, in all its phases, its habits, its tastes, and its typical form.

In the portraits of Lebrun and Rigaud, we feel the social pulse of the age of Louis XIV; we know all about the friends of Madame de Pompadour from the works of Vanloe and Vattier, Louis David, Reynault, and Gérard, gave us the strong, energetic heads of the first revolution and the Empire. True portraiture binds generations in their relations.

A portrait painted well, giving the character of the sitter, the sitter’s temperament, disposition, and turn [illedible] brilliant coloring, is especially adapted for a Salon. In a private house it is somewhat harsh in color effect.

These three works by this justly celebrated master are a valuable acquistion to San Francisco.

Of the many pupils of Carolus Duran no one can compare with John S. Sargent. All of them have been more or less influenced by the teacher, and for many years Sargent was accused of imitation. This was unjust; Sargent has always had a wider range, his individual canvases have invariably a charm of their own. His portrait of Carolus Duran, his magnificent picture of “El Taleo,” the woman with a rose, exhibited first at the sixth annual exhibition of The Society of American Artists, are all masterpieces, and each and every one treated in a distinct and different manner. Year after year Sargent is becoming stronger, and the praise from every artist and connoisseur is of the highest order. William M. Chase, the President of the Society of American Artists, said of this picture, “Velasquez never did anything better than that.” Alden Weir says: “Beatrice, I think, is a piece of character and direct impression of nature, such as no other man I know of could render today. The thing that strikes me most in the painting is that Sargent has painted his impression of the subject as he saw it, and not as he thought it ought to be, therefore it is distinctly an impression of nature, and not a mere imitation of nature.” Kenyon Cox said that this painting placed Sargent at the very heart of all modern portrait painters. At the Exhibition, while before the picture, he said that it seemed almost absurd that an American only thirty-four years old should paint, right in New York, a portrait as good as was ever made at any time anywhere.

Priase from such men, the foremost in this country, must give confidence to those that think it is necessary to travel to Paris for their travel to Paris for their portraits. Thank heavens, we have as big a man as any of them right here.”




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Original compiled and researched document by the Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, Suite 4E, New York, NY 10011.

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The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.

Record Birth Date:
March 19, 2017

Last Update:
March 19, 2017

©2013-2017 Emil Carlsen Archives

Digital-born Publication Title: Emil Carlsen Archives
Publication Subtitle: World's Largest Visual Reference Dedicated to the Preservation of the Work of Danish-American Impressionist/Realist Painter, Emil Carlsen [1848-1932]
Library of Congress Subject Authority Heading: Carlsen, Emil, 1853-1932
Emil Carlsen LC control no.: n 85141186
Publication Type: Online Integrating Resource
Language: English
Creator/Author: Emil Carlsen Archives
Published by: Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011
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Publish Date: 2013 –
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