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John Singer Sargent: "Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend!"

"Ogni volta che dipingo un ritratto perdo un amico".

"It is certain that at certain times talent entirely overcomes thought or poetry".
"È certo che in certi momenti il talento supera del tutto il pensiero o la poesia".

"I don't dig beneath the surface for things that don't appear before my own eyes".
"Non scavo sotto la superficie per cose che non compaiono davanti ai miei occhi".

"If you begin with the middle-tone and work up from it toward the darks so that you deal last with your highest lights and darkest darks, you avoid false accents".
"Se inizi con il tono medio e ti muovi da esso verso le tenebre in modo da affrontare le ultime luci più alte e le tenebre più scure, eviti i falsi accenti".

"I hate to paint portraits! I hope never to paint another portrait in my life. Portraiture may be all right for a man in his youth, but after forty I believe that manual dexterity deserts one, and, besides, the color-sense is less acute. Youth can better stand the exactions of a personal kind that are inseparable from portraiture. I have had enough of it".

"Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation. Wherever you are, be always ready to make slight notes of postures, groups and incidents. Store up in the mind... a continuous stream of observations from which to make selections later. Above all things get abroad, see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen".