The Chapel Chamber at Beauport
William Bruce Ellis Ranken (1881–1941)
Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1928
Oil on paper
34 3/8 x 25 ½ in.
Gift of Constance McCann Betts, Helena Woolworth Guest, and Frasier W. McCann
When Country Life magazine invited Sleeper to illustrate a dozen of his rooms, he arranged to have them painted by William Ranken, a portraitist introduced to Boston society by John Singer Sargent. Ranken’s view of the Chapel Chamber focuses on the important collection of silver by Paul Revere which Sleeper donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Sleeper’s eclectically furnished room is a masterclass in color orchestrations and contrasts of light and shadow. Note the brushstrokes that suggest sunlight on the floor, and how Ranken toned down the vivid wallpaper to retain focus on the cabinet.