John Singer Sargent’s grand-nephew talks family and ‘El Jaleo’
Richard Ormond is one of the world’s leading authorities on the work of John Singer Sargent. He did start off with a slight advantage: He’s Sargent’s grand-nephew, grandson of the artist’s youngest sister, Violet. But he’s not just a Sargent scholar; he’s has been the deputy director of the National Portrait Gallery and the director of the National Maritime Museum, both in London. And the more than 30 books he’s written include volumes on Edwin Landseer, Frederic Leighton, and Franz Xaver Winterhalter. This Thursday, Ormond comes to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to discuss Sargent’s ”El Jaleo,” which hangs in the museum’s Spanish Cloister. He spoke about that painting, and about growing up in the Sargent family, over the phone from London.