Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl

Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl

John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925
Born: Florence
Oil paint on cardboard
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

John Singer Sargent, Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl, 1878. Oil paint on cardboard; 12 7/8 × 9 7/8 in. Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.21 

image height: 12 7/8 in, 32.7025 cm; image width: 9 7/8 in, 25.0825 cm; frame height: 19 1/2 in, 49.5300 cm; frame width: 16 5/16 in, 41.4338 cm; frame depth: 2 7/8 in, 7.3025 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
American Painting and Sculpture before 1900
This object is currently on view

John Singer Sargent 
American, 1856–1925
Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl, 1878   
Oil on cardboard 
Signed, inscribed, and dated by the artist at lower right, To my friend Hyde / souvenir of / John S. Sargent / Capri 1878. 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.21

John Singer Sargent painted this intimate study of Rosina Ferrara, whom he met on the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples, Italy, when he was just twenty-two. She briefly became his most frequent model, the subject of numerous sketches and finished paintings. Rosina’s southern European looks appealed to Sargent – his biographer Evan Charteris described her as “a magnificent type, about seventeen years of age, her complexion a rich nut-brown, with a mass of blue-black hair, very beautiful” – but here she emerges not as an object but as a fully human person. 

Known Provenance
Given by the artist to Frank Hyde, probably in 1878; Edward Middleton Johnson; his sale, Alfred Savill & Sons, Park Grange, Sevenoaks, Kent, U.K., May 31, 1948; private collection; sale, Christie’s, New York, June 5, 1997, lot 27 (withdrawn); acquired privately through Christie’s, New York, by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver, 1997; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2018. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018

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