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 :. | Venetian Bead Stringers (mk18) | A Boating Party (mk18) | Pomegranates (mk18) | A Man Fishing | A Street in Venice |
Related Artists:William Scrots
William (or Guillim) Scrots (or Scrotes or Stretes) (active 1537-1553) was a painter of the Tudor court and an exponent of the Mannerist style of painting in the Netherlands. He is first heard of when appointed a court painter to Mary of Habsburg, Regent of the Netherlands, in 1537. In England, he followed Hans Holbein as King's Painter to Henry VIII in 1546, with a substantial annual salary of £62 10s, over twice as much as Holbein's thirty pounds a year. He continued in this role during the reign of the boy king Edward VI. His salary was stopped on Edward's death in 1553, after which it is not known what became of him, though it is presumed he left England.
Edward VI, attributed to Scrots, Hampton Court.
Portrait of Edward VI in distorted perspective, 1546.Little more is known of Scrots than that his paintings showed an interest in ingenious techniques and detailed accessories. Scrots was paid 50 marks in 1551 for three "great tables", two of which were portraits of Edward delivered to the ambassadors Thomas Hoby and John Mason as gifts for foreign monarchs, and the third a "picture of the late earle of Surrey attainted." Two full-length portraits of Edward VI in a pose similar to that of Holbein's portrait of his father, one now in the Royal Collection (left) and another now in the Louvre (below), are attributed to Scrots and are likely to be these two paintings. Scrots also painted an anamorphic profile of Edward VI, distorted so that it is impossible to view it normally except from a special angle to the side. This optical trick is similar to that used by Holbein in his painting The Ambassadors and in contemporary portraits of Francis I and Ferdinand I. Later, when the painting was exhibited at Whitehall Palace in the winter of 1591-92, it created a sensation, and important visitors were all taken to see it.Henri Rousseau
Henri Rousseau Locations
He was born in Laval in the Loire Valley into the family of a plumber. He attended Laval High School as a day student and then as a boarder, after his father became a debtor and his parents had to leave the town upon the seizure of their house. He was mediocre in some subjects at the high school but won prizes for drawing and music. He worked for a lawyer and studied law, but "attempted a small perjury and sought refuge in the army," serving for four years, starting in 1863. With his father's death, Rousseau moved to Paris in 1868 to support his widowed mother as a government employee. In 1871, he was promoted to the toll collector's office in Paris as a tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art. His wife died in 1888 and he later remarried.
Rousseau claimed he had "no teacher other than nature", although he admitted he had received "some advice" from two established Academic painters, Felix Auguste-Clement and Jean-Leon Gerome. Essentially he was self-taught and is considered to be a naive or primitive painter.Nils Nilsson Skum