The Berger Collection

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl, 1878
Oil on cardboard
Signed, inscribed, and dated by the artist at lower right, To my friend Hyde / souvenir of / John S. Sargent / Capri 1878
12 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.

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At the height of his career John Singer Sargent was known for large-scale portraits of the most fashionable people of the day. He painted this intimate study of a young woman named Rosina Ferrara, whom he met on the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples, during the summer of 1878, when he was only twenty-two. Rosina was his most frequent model and muse that summer. He was introduced to her by a fellow artist, Frank Hyde, to whom Sargent inscribed a dedication at the lower right of the picture. More a sketch than a finished painting, it combines careful brushwork in the depiction of Rosina’s delicate features with freely drawn outlines describing her back and upper body. Sargent made numerous sketches of Rosina as well as several finished paintings.


Frank Hyde, gift from the artist; by descent in the Hyde family, Kent, England, until 1947; Christie’s, New York, June 5, 1997, lot 27

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