HOME

JOHN SINGER SARGENT

HELEN SEARS, 1895

About the Artwork

Helen Sears was one of two portraits Sargent completed in 1895 when he traveled to Boston to install his first murals at the Boston Public Library. Six-year-old Helen was the daughter of Sargent’s friend Sarah Choate Sears, an accomplished photographer, painter, and art patron. Sargent’s high viewpoint and tilted perspective serve to silhouette Helen against the dark red carpet, and the creamy tones of her dress and bright illumination of her face lend her an air of childhood innocence, belied in part by her wistful mood as she stares solemnly into the distance. Helen had posed for another portrait by Abbott H. Thayer three years earlier (1891–92, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) and was a frequent subject of her mother’s photographs. Sears sent Sargent her photograph of Helen wearing the same dress and shoes in which Sargent had painted her, prompting him to respond that it “makes me feel like returning to Boston and putting my umbrella through my portrait. But how can an unfortunate painter hope to rival a photograph by a mother? Absolute truth combined with absolute feeling.”

Popular Images

About Our Products

Quality
MFA Prints On-Demand offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston collection. Thanks to gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
Selection
All reproductions you find in this store are approved by MFA Boston. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Member Discounts

Museum members will receive their member discount for all orders placed through our Prints On-Demand store. Simply enter your member id during the checkout process. Once your membership has been validated your discount will be applied.