Alpine Waterfall, watercolour, c. 1909
Wilfrid and Jane joined Sargent in Switzerland in the summer of 1907 when he and his party were staying at Purtud in the Val d’Aosta. Sargent had brought oriental costumes for the girls to wear while he painted them by the mountain torrents and Wilfrid played boisterous games with Sargent’s numerous nephews, racing in and out of the freezing streams and across the sunny pastures. Jane wrote home to her mother in August 1907,
Yesterday I spent all day posing in the morning in Turkish costume for Sargent on the mossy banks of the brook. I and Rose-Marie, one of the little Ormondes. He is doing a harem disporting itself on the banks of a stream. He has stacks of lovely oriental clothes and dresses anyone he can set in them. It is marvellous to watch him paint. In the afternoon I posed for Wil also by the brook in a white dress, parasol etc. He did a lovely sketch and is going on with it today.
Jane by the Stream, Purtud, Val d’Aosta, 1907
The painting Jane referred to in this letter, called Jane by the Stream, is redolent of the sunlit idylls of Monet. Watercolours such as Alpine Waterfall, probably executed on a later trip to the Simplon pass in 1909, is testimony to the companionship of Wilfrid and Sargent, since it is very close in composition and lighting conditions to a watercolour by Sargent now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Purtud, Val d'Aosta, oil on canvas