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- MFA Guide
I’m Richard Ormond, a great-nephew of the artist. I’ve spent most of my career in museums, latterly as director of the National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich, London. And I grew up in a house surrounded by Sargents so I was always aware of the artist almost from a very young age.
Turning to Reading: the beautiful young girl leaning back and looking out rather archly at us is the artist’s niece, Rose-Marie Ormond, who was a favorite model of his. In fact, she’s the inspiration for many of these Simplon pictures.
She was very beautiful. She also had a rather remarkable character. She was very selfless in the sense that she thought more about other people than herself.
And she had a rather tragic history, because she was married in 1913 to a brilliant young French art historian, a Medievalist called Robert Andre-Michel, who was killed in the opening offensives of World War I. And then she, herself, having done war work, was killed in 1918 in Saint-Gervais, the French church, the Paris church, which was hit by German shells, and about 80 or 90 people lost their lives, and she was one of them.
Planning a visit? Don’t forget an MFA Guide
Rent at any ticket desk, Sharf Visitor Center, and Gund Gallery (LG31). Or add to your online ticket purchase.
The mobile MFA Guide is free to visitors who are blind, low vision, Deaf, or hard of hearing. MFA Guides are touch screen players with a screen reading option and text transcripts, and includes hearing aid neckloops with t-switches as well as headsets. An American Sign Language tour offers a selection of MFA collection highlights, and audio description is available through much of the Museum.
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