While in Washington, DC for my tour for The Baby Planner, my husband Martin and I had the opportunity to stop into The National Gallery, where I was enthralled by this painting from my favorite artist, John Singer Sargent. He entitled it "Repose."
It was a comeback of sorts for Sargent. For over a quarter century he'd made his fame and fortune doing portraits of the world's nouveau riche, but by 1907 he had grown tired of his clients whims, going so far as to renounce his livelihood as “a pimp’s profession.” He then took the time to paint public murals, as well as small watercolors -- mostly landscapes -- for his own pleasure.
However in 1911, while vacationing with his sister Violet’s family in Switzerland, his found his portraiture muse again: in his niece Rose-Marie Ormond Michel. Note that this is a casual character study as opposed to a formal portrait. He beautifully depicts a young woman at ease in hazy amber afternoon light.
If only we all could have been painted by Sargent in such a sublime state of bliss, at the height of our own attractiveness.