John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925)

Madame X - 1884
Madame Pierre Gautreau
Virginie Avegno Gautreau
Oil on Canvas 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in
Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Artist:
John Singer sargent was one of the great turn of the century artists. A true cosmopolitan, he was born in Italy to American parents, trained in Paris and then moved to London.

Sargent quickly won fame and fortune as a fashionable portrait painter on both sides of the Atlantic. His dazzling society portraits are at once flattering, penetrating and brilliantly executed. A friend of Monet, he also made an important contribution to the introduction of Impressionism to England.

Bio text from the Tate Gallery, London

More on the Artist:
Like many American painters, John Singer Sargent worked abroad, both in France and in England. His talent and ambition made him the premier portraitist of his era.

Sargent was born on July 12, 1856. His parents were American, though he was born in Florence, Italy, and then moved to Paris, and then finally at the age of twenty to the United States. He displayed talent as a youth, and his father decided that he should work in the studio of Caolus-Duran, a Parisian portrait painter. Following that apprenticeship, Sargent went to Spain to study Velasquez' work.

Sargent settled in Paris, was well received there and continued to focus on portraits. In 1884 he painted Virginie Avegno Gautreau, his most famous portrait. Judged too provocative by many French people, it caused a scandal, that persuaded him to move to London.

Sargent finally journeyed to America in 1887; it was only his second visit. His talent was in demand; he painted nearly forty portraits. He began a series of murals for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, a pursuit that would occupy him for the remainder of his life.

The turn of the century saw Sargent continue his excursions to Europe. He produced many landscapes, but they were largely unrecognized. His interest in both landscape and murals became so intense that in 1907 he announced he would abandon formal portrait painting altogether. The major part of the rest of Sargent's life was devoted to murals.

Bio text from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Williamstown, Massachusetts

Other Work By the Artist:
Mrs. Joshua Sears
Oil on canvas
58 1/8 x 38 1/8 in.
Museum of Fine Arts,
Houston, Texas
Lady Agnew of Lochnaw
Oil on canvas
49 x 39 1/4 in.
National Galleries of Scotland,
Mrs. Henry White
oil on canvas
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Links to the Artist:
CJFA - John Singer Sargent
Web Museum - John Singer Sargent
Sargent at Harvard

Home | Introduction | Galleries | Artist Listing | Art Links | Credits

European Art | American Art | Modern Art | Photo Art | Sculpture | Performance Art

Web Site Designed and Maintained by
Bat Guano Web Works ®
Tucson , Arizona