John Singer Sargent
Mrs. Louis E. Raphael (Henriette Goldschmidt)
North America, American
59 in. x 39 in. (149.86 cm x 99.06 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection
Currently On View
This portrait depicts the wife of one of the directors of a prominent London Bank, R. Raphael and Sons. The setting is Sargent’s London studio at 31 Tite Street, which is documented in contemporary photographs. Specific accessories such as the sculpture on the mantelpiece as well as those visible in the mirror are known to have been in Sargent’s studio when the portrait was made in about 1906.
Henriette Goldshmidt’s family, like her husband’s, was involved in banking. Her Frankfurt-born grandfather, Moritz Goldschmidt, began to work for the Rothschild Bank at age fourteen. When Solomon Rothschild founded SM Rothschild in Vienna, Moritz accompanied him and worked for that bank for some seventy years. Henriette married Louis Edward Raphael in 1903. The couple had three children, Edward Louis, Hubert (called Bertie), and Stephen; Bertie inherited his mother’s portrait when she died in 1926.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 32, p. 96.