Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S = Sargent, John Singer - A to Z Challenge


ART: Artists, Art Trivia, Art Legends

A glimpse of the ART world, in the manner of an alphabetical mini-art tour. ART focuses on artists and art movements between the 1850's-1960's. There are exceptions.



An American artist arrives in Paris. . .
 

Self-Portrait, John Singer Sargent, 1907, PD-WC
 

S = Sargent, John Singer
1856 - 1925


John Singer Sargent, an American artist, was considered the 'leading portrait painter of his generation' for his evocative painting of Edwardian era luxury. Many of his patrons were wealthy. John was trained in Paris before moving to London. He enjoyed international fame as a portrait painter, but  it was one of his portrait paintings that fostered a scandal. . .

An early submission to the Paris Salon, Portrait of Madam X, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. The low-cut neckline and the pose of the figure seemed to inspire discussion and disapproval. . .(Victorian and Edwardian sensibilities are easily offended.)


John Singer Sargent, in his studio with the Portrait of Madame X, c.1884, PD-WC


Sargent studied in Paris with Carolus-Duran, the young French portrait artist, who was noted for his bold technique and modern teaching methods. He would be a pivotal influence  to Sargent during his learning years, 1874 to 1878. In 1879, he painted a portrait of Carolus-Duran which received public approval and admittance to the Paris Salon. Sargent was 23 years old.

During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. Sargent also left hundreds of 'rapid charcoal portrait sketches' of his patrons that he called 'Mugs'. Many have been exhibited as a collection. In 1909, he exhibited 86 watercolors in NY City, 83 of which were purchased by the Brooklyn Museum.

He traveled worldwide from Venice, Italy to Montana and Florida. Later in his life, Sargent devoted most of his time to working on mural paintings and working en plein air. Most of his life was lived in Europe. Sargent returned from the United States to England in 1924 after a major retrospective, and died there in April of 1925.

Sargent was a life-long bachelor, who surrounded himself with family, friends, and other artists. He was generally private about his personal affairs, so little is known but supposition.

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Do you know the work of the American artist, John Singer Sargent? Any favorites? Did you know some of his work is considered Impressionistic?

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.

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Brought to you by the A to Z Blog Challenge 2014 Team and the originator: Lee of Tossing it Out. Click the A to Z list of participants and read on. Hope to see you again throughout the blogfest.





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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Singer_Sargent Wiki - John Singer Sargent


IMAGES

John Singer Sargent, in his studio with the X, Portrait of Madame c.1884,

This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason

You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States. Note that Mexico has a term of 100 years and does not implement the rule of the shorter term, so this image may not be in the public domain in Mexico. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years, but it does implement the rule of the shorter term.

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Image: Self Portrait of Sargent,1907

This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.

You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States. Note that Mexico has a term of 100 years and does not implement the rule of the shorter term, so this image may not be in the public domain in Mexico. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years, but it does implement the rule of the shorter term.

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27 comments:

  1. I was intrigued with art and the artists who painted in my youth. Obviously I need to get back to those days. Thanks for showing me where to start :)

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    1. We push art aside sometimes for the realities of life. I know, I see my idle paintbrushes staring at me as I type on the laptop.

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  2. I had not heard of this artist before! And clearly I need new glasses because I thought you wrote it was a portrait of Malcolm X.

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    1. Hmm, JoJo, I don't know how I'd spin a tale on Malcolm X, since it doesn't have a S letter in it. Too funny, and I'm glad I've told you about another artist, and an American, too. He just liked to live in Europe.

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  3. How times have changed! That portrait is MODEST by today's standards. Maybe Singer was simply a man before his time!

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    1. That's what I thought, she looked elegant to me. All those fashion types never like the newest thing if they aren't the ones wearing it. Victorian principles intrude.

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  4. Interesting to learn about him. I knew of him, of course, but not the details from his life.

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    1. He immersed himself in his art, and I admire his technical expertise. I especially like seeing those old studios. I want one. . .

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  5. Hi,D.G.

    Madame X is by far my favorite. The moment I read Sargent's name I immediately thought of this painting.

    The contrast of creamy white skin next to that black velvet is so illuminating. She almost glows... Stunning painting!

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    1. Blogger is trying to fool me. It erased the first comment. . . so see my reply down below, please.

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  6. I don't think I'd heard of him before. Not ringing a bell at all. Interesting to learn about him and his work.

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    1. Now you have heard of him, Julie, you should check the link to see his other paintings.

      I think his technique with portraits may be more formal because of his subject matter, the Edwardians, some of whom enjoyed the 'better life'.

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  7. Hi Michael, I do love the fact that he painted what he thought looked best, he only forgot the prudish type of attitudes that were common in that time. . .I love the contrast too.
    Black is always right, that what I've heard. It's just her 'little black dress'.

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  8. Thanks for bringing Sargent to a new audience! My favorite is the "Daughters of Edward Darley Boit" - i saw it in a huge JSS exhibit in Wash., D.C. way back in 1999 - and as i stood before it, i vowed i would write a novel about the "story" behind that enigmatic painting - and I did! It's called Portraits of an Artist and was published last year. It also covers the time during which Sargent painted the infamous Madame X, and details why it was so (remarkably) scandalous -- for one thing, she isn't wearing any petticoats!! Anyway, thanks so very much for doing this whole A to Z blog, i'll look at the others, too! mary f. burns

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    1. I like the 'Daughters of Edward. . .' too, since I have daughters. I thought as I looked at it, how is he keeping them still for a sketch to be done? Sometimes the composition makes us wonder what came before.

      And I'd forgotten, no petticoats for Madame X, thanks for jogging my memory. Ah, fashion is so fickle. Glad you approve of the art theme.

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    2. I'm not on Google +, so unable to view your blog. No link on that landing page. If you leave the path, I will visit.

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    3. Google+ mystifies me; not sure how i actually got "signed up" for it, but i never use it! anyway, my blog is at www.portraitsofanartist.blogspot.com . thanks for asking!

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  9. I loved your take on Sargent. I love the technique which seems to just brush against Impressionism. Thanks, I didn't know this painter. Hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

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    1. Great, glad you enjoyed the post. He didn't consider himself impressionistic until his later life. . . Good luck to you too!

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  10. That painting certainly wouldn't cause a scandal now.

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    1. No, one would have to show more skin than that in today's world to shock. If her hair were down, it would have softened the effect, but that probably wasn't in style. . .

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  11. I knew of the "scandalous painting" only (which I LOVE)! I'm glad he did so well during his lifetime. It's always so sad to hear of an artist who only did well after he died!

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    1. He was quite proud of the painting that was supposed to ensure his status, but he never changed his own opinion of its worth when others rejected it.

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  12. Robin and you are right: the portrait of Madame X seems elegant and beautiful ... hardly a rendition of Miley Cyrus! I like to think his life was filled with love and beautiful women. Ah, that is the Frenchman in me! :-)

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    1. There's no comparison, is there between those two? Sargent did paint a lot of beautiful women, so his life was filled with beauty, as you say. Some do like to admire from afar.

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  13. One of my favorite artists and thank you for the photo of his studio. Another bachelor, like Degas, but oh such talent! I think that I like his 'Daughters" painting the best, the white of their over petticoats is so crisp.

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    1. That painting (Daughters) is striking, I tried to select a variety, so I'm glad you like this featured artist.

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