John Sloan: Portraitist, Landscapist, Illustrator, and Observer of New York Life (1871-1933)

John French Sloan (2 August 1871-7 September 1951),​ New York City painter and etcher,​ was a founding member of the Ashcan school of American art, and a member of the group of painters who called themselves "The Eight."​ Although he was a successful book illustrator, his best known works are genre paintings of urban scenes which he recorded as he observed his New York City neighbourhood outside the window of his Chelsea studio. In his paintings he focussed on "the drab, shabby, happy, sad, and human life"​of New York City, particularly pedestrians,​during the early part of the twentieth century. Sloan was also a highly capable book-illustrator, landscape artist,​and painter of portraits. Although his study of the reactions of Gabriel Betteredge, Rachel Verinder, Godfrey Ablewhite, and Franklin Blake to the Moonstone may be compared to that of contemporary British Illustrator Alfred Pearse's "'Exquisite! exquisite!'" (1910), Sloan's choice of subject was in no way influenced by the 1910 half-tone lithograph, which Sloan's illustration predates by two years. His other choices, however, suggest that he may have seen the original serial illustrations, either in Harper's Weekly for 1868 or in the Harper and Brothers volume published in July 1868, and re-printed in the fall of 1873.

Four Illustrations for The Moonstone in the Charles Scribner's Sons Edition (1908)

  • 'Lord bless us! it was a Diamond!' (Frontispiece) See page 86. Chapter 9 in "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)." Narrative by Gabriel Betteredge."
  • "Weigh it in your hand, sir," she said to the Sergeant." Facing p. 180. See page 179; refers to Chapter 15 in "The Loss of the Diamond (1848)." Narrative by Gabriel Betteredge.
  • "I took it up from the sand, and looked for the mark." Facing p. 432. See page 431; refers to Chapter 3, in "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-1849)." Third Narrative by Franklin Blake.
  • "He opened the bedroom door, and went out." Facing p. 592. See Page 592; refers to Second Period, Fourth Narrative, "The Discovery of the Truth (1848-49)." "Extracted from the Journal of Ezra Jennings."
  • Related Materials


    Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone: A Romance. with sixty-six illustrations. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization. Vol. 12 (1868), 4 January through 8 August, pp. 5-503.

    ________. The Moonstone: A Romance. All the Year Round. 1 January-8 August 1868.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Novel. With 19 illustrations. New York & London: Harper and Brothers, 1868, rpt. 1874.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by George Du Maurier and F. A. Fraser. London: Chatto and Windus, 1890.

    _________. The Moonstone, Parts One and Two. The Works of Wilkie Collins, vols. 5 and 6. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1900.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With four illustrations by John Sloan. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. Illustrated by A. S. Pearse. London & Glasgow: Collins, 1910, rpt. 1930.

    _________. The Moonstone. With forty-nine illustrations by William Sharp. New York: Doubleday, 1946.

    _________. The Moonstone: A Romance. With nine illustrations by Edwin La Dell. London: Folio Society, 1951.

    Farmer, Steve. "Introduction" to Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 1999. Pp. 8-34.

    Leighton, Mary Elizabeth, and Lisa Surridge. "The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly." Victorian Periodicals Review Volume 42, Number 3 (Fall 2009): pp. 207-243. Accessed 1 July 2016.

    Lonoff, Sue. Chapter 7: "The Moonstone and Its Audience." Wilkie Collins and His Readers: A Study in the Rhetoric of Authorship. New York: AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, 1982. Pp. 170-227.

    Nayder, Lillian. Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, & Victorian Authorship. London and Ithaca, NY: Cornll U. P., 2001.

    Peters, Catherine. The King of the Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins. London: Minerva, 1991.

    Reed, John R. "English Imperialism and the Unacknowledged crime of The Moonstone. Clio 2, 3 (June, 1973): 281-290.

    Robinson, Kenneth. "Chapter 12: 'The Moonstone'." Wilkie Collins: A Biography London: The Bodley Head, 1951. Pp. 200-224.

    Stewart, J. I. M. "A Note on Sources." Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, rpt. 1973. Pp. 527-8.

    Last updated 27 August 2016