John Singer Sargent

American, 1856–1925



Carolus-Duran was among the most celebrated portrait painters working in Paris in the 1870s. With his casual pose and elegant clothing, he is presented as a dandy or fashionable man-about-town. On his lapel he wears the red pin of the French Legion of Honour, awarded for his contribution to the arts. Sargent studied with Carolus-Duran, launching his own career by exhibiting this portrait to great acclaim. Along the top, he added an inscription paying homage to his teacher and describing himself as an “affectionate pupil.”

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 46 x 37 13/16 in. (116.8 x 96 cm) Frame: 59 x 50 1/8 x 3 in. (149.9 x 127.3 x 7.6 cm)
Object Number 1955.14
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1919
Status On View

Image Caption

John Singer Sargent, Carolus-Duran, 1879, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.14.


Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990. Tinterow, Gary and Geneviève Lacambre. Manet/Valázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting. Exhibition catalogue. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2003.


To Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran, 1879; to Mr. Rougeron;* to Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran; (Pierre and Co., Paris); to (M. Knoedler & Co., Paris, December 17, 1919); to Robert Sterling Clark, December 31, 1919.    

*It seems that Carolus-Duran used the painting as collateral for a loan from Mr. Rougeron in the early 1880s. The story is recounted in Robert Sterling Clark's diary, January 29, 1929, when Rougeron's son saw the picture in Mr. Clark's New York home.