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Portrait of Ralph Curtis on the Beach at Scheveningen

American Art

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Portrait of Ralph Curtis on the Beach at Scheveningen

Artwork Details


John Singer Sargent
American, 1856–1925




Oil on panel

Accession #



10 1/2 x 13 3/16 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 304


A leading expatriate figure painter of the late 1800s, John Singer Sargent was still a student when he produced this vibrant work. He traveled to Holland to study portraits by Dutch master Frans Hals. Grains of sand embedded in its surface suggest that Sargent executed the painting on the spot at a Dutch beach resort. The small, vivid sketch of Sargent’s cousin Ralph Curtis in repose—so different in spirit from the full-length formal portraits for which he is best known—represents one of the artist’s favorite themes: casual portraits of friends and family painted en plein air.


Gift of the Walter Clay Hill and Family Foundation