John Singer Sargent Biography | Oil Paintings
1-12-1856 Florence, ITA – 4-15-1925 London, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Born in Florence, Italy of American parents, John Singer Sargent was brought up in France, Italy, and Germany, his education was sporadic and it was made up by his cosmopolitan street smart outlook.
John Singer Sargent studied painting and drawing in each of these cities, but his only formal schooling came at the Academia in Florence, where he won a prize in 1873, and in the studio of Carolus-Duran in Paris in 1874. In 1876 he paid the first of many trips to the USA, re-affirming his American citizenship in that Centennial year.
John Singer Sargent painted landscapes, but it was his early portraits that earned him acclaim. Yet, the scurrilous treatment of him by the French press over a decollete Portrait of Madame Gautreau (Portrait of Madame X) induced him to leave France in 1885 and settle in London, where he spent most of his life.
John Singer Sargent Unappreciated Painting Genius.
In 1909 the new Boston Public Library in Massachusetts commissioned him to decorate a room. The resulting murals depicting the history of the Jewish and Christian religions was monumental, but soon became the subject of continual religious controversy. As well as portraits he produced large decorative works for public buildings from 1910 onward. Some of his most evocative paintings were produced as a war artist in 1914–18.
He is often passed by, not studied or dismissed because he was never a radical artist or trendsetter. John Singer Sargent always worked within the wide, rich textured pallet of known and established styles. Yet his brilliance was infusing these elements together in a variety of paintings subjects and for this, he has never gotten credit until recently.
Sargent's magnificent portraits of American high society, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, influenced by Velazquez and Manet and reminiscent of the characters described in Henry Jame's novels of the same period, offer a view of the ruling class that is aware of the United States rapid rise to the top of the global economy.
A very strange and awkward Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson and his Wife sold in 2004 for US$8.8 million dollars to the Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn. Also in 2004, Group with Parasols (A Siesta) sold for US$23.5 million dollars.
Art Movement: Impressionist, Realism.
Artists Influencing Singer Sargent: Carolus-Duran, Frans Hals, Diego Velazquez.
He Traveled To England, Italy, France, USA, Spain, Germany.
Painters John Sargent Influenced: Clause Monet.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.