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Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues, 1844-1908

Nationality: Spanish
Date of Birth: 10 March 1844
Place of Birth: Pampeluna
Place of Death: Biarritz, France


Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues was a violinist.


Sarasate first played in London in 1874. Ten years later, Whistler painted his portrait, Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate y315, in his studio at 13 Tite Street, Cheyne Walk. When the painting was exhibited Whistler said, 'They talk about my painting Sarasate standing in a coal cellar, and stupidities like that. I only know that he looked just as he does in my picture when I saw him play in St James's Hall.' Duret told the Pennells that Sarasate did not care particularly for art nor for his portrait and that it was Otto Goldschmidt, his manager and an enthusiastic collector of Whistler's work, who had arranged the sittings. However, according to Oscar Wilde, Sarasate was 'immensely flattered by the furore his portrait produced'. Later Whistler went on to decorate a music room for Sarasate in Paris, designing in Sarasate's honour two violin-shaped light sconces (see Sketchbook m1001). In Sarasate's letters to Whistler in the late 1880s and early 1890s he called himself Whistler's 'devoted friend and ardent admirer' (#05376).


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.