Museums and Art

John Singer Sargent - biography and paintings

John Singer Sargent - biography and paintings

Belle epoque, the time between the last decade of the 19th century and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, got its name for nothing. It really was a “wonderful era”, the last bastion of a vanishing world, the calm before the storm of a terrible catastrophe for mankind, which was later called the Great War. This period of time gave civilization many great works and introduced the world to the work of wonderful people. Among them was a talented artist and an unusually gifted colorist John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925).

The future painter was born in a symbolic place for all artists - in Florence. His family was not related to art, his father was a doctor. Although Sargent was considered an American, in reality he was a true "man of the world", a cosmopolitan. He learned to draw in Italy, France and Germany, that is, in those countries that were at that moment a real focus of artistic thought.

In France, the artist met the impressionists, subsequently became close to them, especially close he was friends with Claude Monet. However, in spirit he was closer to the classics, especially such portrait geniuses as Van Dyck and Gainsborough. Many impressionists did not consider Sargent to be equal to themselves, as a painter of the new time, and attributed him to the classics who had already "outlived their time." History has dotted all the "And." The combination of the classical approach to the image, sound composition and a unique vision of color, combined with virtuoso craftsmanship made Sargent one of the best portrait painters of his time.

The artist traveled a lot and repeatedly moved from one country to another, but he spent especially much time in France and Great Britain. Like his portraits, the master himself always looked like a true dandy - beautiful, well-groomed, beautifully, tastefully dressed. This refined taste was reflected in his magnificent portraits, both in women and men.

Sargent has become a fashionable “court” painter, his portraits are extremely prestigious to have in their living rooms, rich and famous ladies and gentlemen literally line up to him so that the master paints their portrait. At the same time, he also creates iconic works, written not on order, but at the behest of the heart. Such work includes the "Daughters of Edward Darley Boyte." In the composition of this picture, many saw a resemblance to the famous canvas “Menins” by one of Sargent's favorite artists, Velazquez.

Indeed, there is a semantic and compositional similarity, especially since the artist himself never denied it. He repeatedly copied the historical canvas and carefully studied it. However, the appearance of “Daughters” caused extremely mixed assessments and even criticism of him. Many tried to look for secret meaning and encrypted messages in the canvas, like Velazquez. In fact, we have before us a skillfully executed talented image of a fleeting happy childhood spent in a friendly and loving family.

Sargent was a prolific artist and left behind a truly colossal legacy. He left more than 900 works made by oil, about 2000 watercolor paintings, graphic works, sketches and sketches. Most of the works are in various museums around the world, including America, France and other countries. His canvases are also kept in private collections. This artist was remembered for his peculiarity and commitment to his own style, recognizable and at the same time completely classical in spirit.

In addition to painting, the artist was fond of chess and played excellently in them. Three of his canvases on the subject of this intellectual game have survived. The master died in April 1925 in London.


Watch the video: The Portrait Institute John Singer Sargents Lady Agnew 2 (December 2021).