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John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) | Page 1

John Singer Sargent was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian Era luxury.
The Edwardian Period corresponds to the French Belle Époque period. Despite its brief pre-eminence, the period is characterised by its own unique architectural style, fashion, and lifestyle. Art Nouveau had a particularly strong influence. Artists were influenced by the development of the automobile and electricity, and a greater awareness of human rights.

During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2.000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice🎨 to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine and Florida.
Born in Florence in 1856 to expatriate American parents, John Singer Sargent received his first formal art instruction in Rome in 1868, and sporadically attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence between 1870-1873.
In 1874 he was accepted at the Paris studio of the portraitist Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran, and the next fall entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study drawing.
He began to exhibit at the Salon in 1877.
Over the next few years several experiences had a significant impact on Sargent's artistic development: during a trip to Spain in 1879 he copied paintings by Velázquez at the Prado; in 1880 he visited Belgium and Holland, where he copied works by Frans Hals🎨; and in 1881 he met James McNeill Whistler in Venice.

During the 1870-1880, Sargent painted genre scenes, based in part on his travels to Spain and Venice, but it was his remarkable skills as a portraitist upon which his reputation rested.
The scandal caused by Sargent's daring portrait of Madame Gautreau at the Salon of 1884 precipitated his departure to London the following year. In England, Sargent's style of working was seen as peculiarly French.
In 1885 he joined Francis David Millet in the Worcestershire village of Broadway, where he began his masterpiece of english impressionism🎨, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. By 1886, he had made London his permanent home. A year later, Sargent visited and worked with Monet🎨 at Giverny, and made his first professional trip to America, where the demand for his portraiture brought him considerable fame.

John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 | American Impressionism

In 1897 he was elected an academician at the National Academy of Design, New York, and the Royal Academy of Art, London, and he was made a member of the Legion of Honor in France.
By the turn of the century Sargent was recognized as the most acclaimed international society portraitist of the Edwardian era, and his clientele included the most affluent, aristocratic, and fashionable people of his time.
Sargent chafed in later life at the limitations of portraiture, and around the turn of the century he worked increasingly at other subjects and in other mediums, particularly watercolor, in which he was extraordinarily gifted.
Although an expatriate who lived in London, Sargent was committed to America's cultural development and executed important mural decorations for the Boston Public Library 1890-1919, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1916-1925 and Harvard University's Widener Library 1921-1922. He died in London in 1925.

John Singer Sargent 1856-1925 by Giovanni Boldini 1842-1931🎨