John Singer Sargent born January 12, 1856, Florence, Italy
died April 15, 1925, London, England, and a leading
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.
During Sargent's long career, he painted more than 2,000 watercolors, roving from the English countryside to Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida, and each destination offered pictorial stimulation and treasure. Even at his leisure, in escaping the pressures of the portrait studio, he painted with restless intensity, often painting from morning until night.
His hundreds of watercolors of Venice are especially notable, many done from the perspective
of a gondola. His colors were sometimes extremely vivid and as one reviewer noted,
“Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.” In the Middle East and North Africa,
Sargent painted Bedouins, goatherds, and fisherman. In the last decade of his life,
he produced many watercolors in Maine, Florida,
and in the American West, of fauna, flora, and native peoples.
Though not generally accorded the critical respect given Winslow Homer, perhaps America’s greatest watercolorist, scholarship has revealed that Sargent was fluent in the entire range of opaque and transparent watercolor technique, including the methods used by Homer
Upon his return to England 1918 after a visit to the U.S., Sargent was commissioned as a war artist by the British Ministry of Information. In his large painting Gassed and in many watercolors, he depicted scenes from the Great Wa
Sargent was a life-long bachelor who surrounded himself with family and friends. Sargent was extremely private regarding his personal life, although the painter Jacques-Émile Blanche, who was one of his early sitters, said after his death that Sargent's sex life "was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous.
John Singer Sargent is interred in Brookwood Cemetery near Woking, Surrey.
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