John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent Locations
John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 ?C April 14, 1925) was the most successful portrait painter of his era. 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.
Before Sargent??s birth, his father FitzWilliam was an eye surgeon at the Wills Hospital in Philadelphia. After his older sister died at the age of two, his mother Mary (n??e Singer) suffered a mental collapse and the couple decided to go abroad to recover. They remained nomadic ex-patriates for the rest of their lives. Though based in Paris, Sargent??s parents moved regularly with the seasons to the sea and the mountain resorts in France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. While she was pregnant, they stopped in Florence, Italy because of a cholera epidemic, and there Sargent was born in 1856. A year later, his sister Mary was born. After her birth FitzWilliam reluctantly resigned his post in Philadelphia and accepted his wife??s entreaties to remain abroad. They lived modestly on a small inheritance and savings, living an isolated life with their children and generally avoiding society and other Americans except for friends in the art world. Four more children were born abroad of whom two lived past childhood.
Though his father was a patient teacher of basic subjects, young Sargent was a rambunctious child, more interested in outdoor activities than his studies. As his father wrote home, ??He is quite a close observer of animated nature.?? Contrary to his father, his mother was quite convinced that traveling around Europe, visiting museums and churches, would give young Sargent a satisfactory education. Several attempts to give him formal schooling failed, owning mostly to their itinerant life. She was a fine amateur artist and his father was a skilled medical illustrator. Early on, she gave him sketchbooks and encouraged drawing excursions. Young Sargent worked with care on his drawings, and he enthusiastically copied images from the Illustrated London News of ships and made detailed sketches of landscapes. FitzWilliam had hoped that his son??s interest in ships and the sea might lead him toward a naval career.
At thirteen, his mother reported that John ??sketches quite nicely, & has a remarkably quick and correct eye. If we could afford to give him really good lessons, he would soon be quite a little artist.?? At age thirteen, he received some watercolor lessons from Carl Welsch, a German landscape painter. Though his education was far from complete, Sargent grew up to be a highly literate and cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art, music, and literature. He was fluent in French, Italian, and German. At seventeen, Sargent was described as ??willful, curious, determined and strong?? (after his mother) yet shy, generous, and modest (after his father). He was well-acquainted with many of the great masters from first hand observation, as he wrote in 1874, ??I have learned in Venice to admire Tintoretto immensely and to consider him perhaps second only to Michael Angelo and Titian.?? Related Paintings of John Singer Sargent :. | Carnation Lily Lily Rose | The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (mk09) | | Italian actress Eleonora Duse | Portrait of William Merritt Chase |
Related Artists:GIRARDON, Francois
French Baroque Era Sculptor, 1628-1715
François Girardon was born at Troyes on March 17, 1628. He studied in Rome for an undetermined period of time between 1645 and 1650. He then studied at the Royal Academy in Paris and was admitted to the academy as a member in 1657. Much of Girardon's most important work was executed for King Louis XIV and consisted of major commissions for the palace and gardens of Versailles. One of Girardon's most famous productions is Apollo and the Nymphs of Thetis in Versailles (1666-1672), originally designed for a grotto there. This elaborate project of seven separate marble statues depicts the god Apollo surrounded by nymphs, and it exemplifies with exceptional clarity the French interpretation of the baroque style in sculpture, an interpretation that rejected the fluid, dramatic, and emotional Italian baroque in favor of a cooler, more sober approach based upon the sculpture of antiquity. The Apollo group is filled with references to Hellenistic and Roman sculpture, and while Girardon was working on the commission he made a second trip to Rome for inspiration from antique sources. The ancient world, however, had never attempted to assemble several large pieces of free-standing sculpture into one unified composition, and in solving this problem Girardon had recourse to the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, the great French baroque classicist. The classicism of the Apollo group conformed fully to the official style of the French Academy and the personal taste of Louis XIV, but the composition has many baroque elements. The vigor and variety in the movement of the figures, the rich textural contrasts, the grand scale of the project, and the dramatic use of space are all stylistic qualities that firmly link the work to the international baroque style. One of Girardon's most important works is the tomb of Cardinal Richelieu in the church of the Sorbonne, Paris (1675-1677). This monument shows the dying prelate in a semireclining position, his vestments falling in broad curves that are echoed in the draperies of the allegorical figures at the head and foot of the tomb. As originally placed in the church, the monument was freestanding so that the spectator was compelled to enter into the action of the work - a typical baroque compositional device. Girardon's most significant late work was a majestic bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV (1683-1692) executed for the Place Vendôme in Paris and based upon the famous Roman equestrian monument of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. PLEYDENWURFF, Hans
German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1420-1472Thomas Seddon