MORGAN, John Pierpont & SATTERLEE, Mabel (his granddaughter) (1906)

Double portrait of Morgan seated with his granddaughter Mabel Satterlee on his lap, a vase (on a pedestal) to the right hand side. Signed and dated lower centre left ‘A Muller-Ury 1906’.

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

New York Herald, October 24, 1913
Zürcher Illustrierte, No. 4, January 27, 1939, XV Jahrgang, p.108, reproduced in article ‘Adolf Müller-Ury: Der Fürstenmaler’.

John Pierpont Morgan was born in Hartford Connecticut on April 17, 1837, and educated in Europe and the University of Gottingen where he was considered a mathematical genius. In his early twenties he acted as American representative of his father’s London banking firm, and during the years of the American Civil War and afterwards in the development of American industry and railroads played a major role as a banker and organizer, with his credit considered safer than that of the United States government. One of the foremost collectors of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he acquired major works of art wherever in the world he was travelling, most of which are today in American museums. He died in Rome on March 13, 1913.

In the Times Picayune, New Orleans, Tuesday, October 6, 1942, Muller-Ury told a reporter the following: ‘Morgan never missed a sitting. When I commented on this, he said, “And why should I break an appointment? I have no patience with people who do!”’

Select Bibliography:

Frederick Lewis Allen, The Great Pierpont Morgan, New York, 1948

Cass Canfield, The Incredible Pierpont Morgan: Financier & Art Collector, London, 1974.

Louis Auchincloss, J. P. Morgan: The Financier as Collector, New York, 1990

Jean Strouse, Morgan: American Financier, New York 1999.

Mabel Satterlee was born on August 13, 1901, and married Abbott Ingalls on September 19, 1926.  She was the favourite granddaughter of J. Pierpont Morgan, whose daughter Louisa Morgan in 1900 married lawyer Herbert Satterlee (1863-1947). She became a respected physician. She died in 1993.

The picture was evidently based upon a photograph of the two sitters he had previously had sittings for separately in 1904.  It is uncertain whether this was a commission, but the present editor has examined a number of photographs of the interior of the Satterlee mansion in albums at the Morgan Library in New York, and this double portrait is clearly visible on an easel in a drawing room in a contemporary photograph.

Jean Strouse, Morgan’s most recent biographer, told the editor that she had found a photograph of this double portrait among the papers of the late Mabel Satterlee Ingalls.