(n/a) John Singer Sargent, RA (American, 1856-1925)
Portrait of David Tennant, 1915 signed and dated 'John S Sargent 1915' (top center) charcoal on paper 22 3/4 x 18 1/4in
The sitter is one of a long line of Tennant family members who sat for Sargent. Most famously his mother Pamela is the central figure in Sargent's masterful 1900 group portrait of The Wyndham Sisters now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Equally notable is Sargent's 1902 portrait of the boy's great uncle Thomas Lister, Lord Ribblesdale in the National Gallery, London.
Sargent also painted his grandfather Sir Charles Tennant in 1901 and apparently executed portraits, most likely drawings, of his elder brothers Edward Wyndham Tennant and Christopher 2nd Baron Glenconner.
Sargent sketched the boy when he was 15 and ill in bed. We can see his head supported by pillows. According to family members, Tennent often would comment on how Sargent employed many engaging tactics to keep his youthful sitter focused, a trait Sargent was particularly known for when portraying children.
Sargent, John Singer (1856-1925). The Wyndham Sisters: Lady Elcho, Mrs. Adeane, and Mrs. Tennant. 1899. Oil on canvas, 115 x 84 1/8 in. (292.1 x 213.7 cm). Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1927 (27.67).