John Singer Sargent
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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 :. | Reapers Resting in a Wheatfield (mk18) | John Hay | A Boating Party (mk18) | Paul Helleu Sketching With his Wife | Ramon Subercaseaux |
Related Artists:Stephen Pearce
(London, 1819-904) was a portrait and equestrian painter. Forty-four portraits which he painted are in the National Portrait Gallery in London, which also contains two self-portraits.
(20 May 1815 - 10 October 1893) was a Swiss painter and draughtsman who introduced the principles of plein-air painting and the paysage intime into Swiss art.
Menn was born in Geneva as the youngest son of four to Not (Rhaeto-Romance language form for Louis) Menn, a confectioner from Scuol in the canton of Grisons, and Charlotte-Madeleine-Marguerite Bodmer, the daughter of a wealthy farmer from Coinsins in the Canton de Vaud. Already at the age of twelve, Menn took drawing lessons from the little known Jean Duboi (1789-1849), and later, he entered the drawing school of the Geneva Arts Society. The repeated claim that he was also a pupil of the famous enameller Abraham Constantin (1785-1855) appears to be erroneous. In 1831, Menn was second in the annual drawing competition of the Geneva Art Society. The following year, he entered the studio of the Swiss history painter Jean-Leonard Lugardon (1801-1884), who was a pupil of Baron Gros(1771-1835) and acquainted with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). There, Menn was educated in figure drawing and composition before heading for Paris, where, in fall 1833, he entered the studio of Ingres. He was, therefore, no beginner when meeting the master, but needed some polishing and refinement in his art. In a letter to his friend Jules Hebert, Menn reported on the new situation: eEverybody, even the eldest in the studio tremble before Mr. Ingres. One fears him a lot in such a way that his corrections have a great impact. He is of an extreme sensibility,e while the education in Ingrese studio has been described by Theophile Silvestre, as follows: 'The students spend half of their time studying nature and half studying the masters among which they are especially attached to Phidias, the bas-reliefs of the Parthenon, classical sculpture in general.e This explains why among Menn's early works there are many copies after the Parthenon frieze that was accessible in Paris in a set of plaster casts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts since 1816. (Fig. 2). Menn also copied several works by Raffael, Titian (Fig. 3), Veronese and Rubens in the Louvre, and works by Ingres.
When the latter decided to give up his studio to take the post as director of the French Academy in the Villa Medici in Rome, Menn returned to his grandparents in Coinsins before following his master in fall 1834. His journey led him first via Milan to Venice, where he met briefly his compatriot Louis-Leopold Robert (1798-1835), and where he would copy works by Titian and Tintoretto. He then travelled via Padua and Bologna to Florence, where he met old classmates from Ingrese studio, and arrived finally in Rome in spring 1835. There, Menn copied works by Raphael and Michelangelo, but he also started to produce extraordinary fresh small landscape paintings in the open air. In summer 1836, he visited the Campagna, Capri and Naples, where too he drew and painted landscapes directly from nature, and copied classical antiquities from Pompeii as well as Giovanni Bellini's Transfiguration in the Museo Borbonico. When back in Rome, he produced history - and genre paintings, of which in 1837, he sent 'Solomon presented to Wisdom by his Parents' (Salomon presente e la sagesse par son pere et sa mere; Fig.N) to the annual Salon in Geneva. Menn returned via Florence, Siena and Viterbo to Paris in late 1838, where he exhibited at the Salon from 1839 to 1843, and where he became the drawing master of Maurice Dudevant, the son of George Sand. In her circle, he became acquainted with Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) who wanted to employ him as an assistant while working on the decoration of the cupola of the library in the Palais du Luxembourg. At the same time, Menn got to know the painters of the Barbizon School, and especially Charles Daubigny (1817-1878). Most importantly, however, Menn became friends with Camille Corot (1796-1875), who, from 1842 onwards, visited Switzerland frequently. It was also in Paris that he became acquainted with members of the Genevan Bovy family who followed the utopian socialist ideas of Charles Fourier.
Italian Painter, 1492-1527
He trained in Florence with Ridolfo Ghirlandaio and in the workshops of Antonio del Ceraiuolo ( fl 1st half 16th century) and Andrea del Sarto. What may be his earliest surviving work, the Virgin and Child with St John (c. 1513; Rome, Pal. Venezia), reflects the style of Ghirlandaio. Other early paintings, however, such as the Holy Family (Florence, Gal. Corsini), show the influence of Fra Bartolommeo and Andrea del Sarto and are little affected by Ghirlandaio. The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John (c. 1522; Florence, Pitti) clearly reflects the examples of Fra Bartolommeo and Raphael, with the figures in the manner of Andrea del Sarto. The figure of the Christ Child may derive from Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks (c. 1507-8; Alnwick Castle, Northumb., on loan to London, N.G.). Over a dozen drawings have been attributed to Puligo, but none relates to his extant work or resembles his style of painting. Vasari described him as a particularly lazy artist, which may account for this scarcity of drawings and for the frequency of borrowed motifs and repeated compositions in his smaller religious paintings. Such borrowing often resulted in a lack of harmony in his compositions, as in the Pitti Virgin and Child. The influence of the more sculptural forms of Andrea del Sarto's work of the 1520s can be seen in the Mary Magdalene (c. 1525; Ottawa, N.G.).