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 :. | Mrs.Gardner in White (mk18) | Portrait of Millicent Leveson-Gower Duchess of Sutherland | Oyster Gatherers of Cancale | Octavia Hill | Portrait of Millicent Leveson-Gower |
Related Artists:JONES, Thomas
Welsh Painter, 1742-1803William Dobson
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William Dobson (March 4, 1610 ?C October 28, 1646) was a portraitist and one of the first notable English painters, praised by his contemporary John Aubrey as the most excellent painter that England has yet bred.
Dobson was born in London the son of a decorative artist, and was apprenticed to William Peake and probably later joined the studio of Francis Cleyn. He is believed to have had access to the Royal Collection and to have copied works by Titian and Anthony Van Dyck, King Charles I chief painter. The colour and texture of Dobson work was influenced by Venetian art, but Van Dyck style has little apparent influence on Dobson. Van Dyck himself discovered Dobson when he noticed one of the young artists pictures in a London shop window. He introduced Dobson to the King, who had Dobson paint himself, his sons and members of the court.
When Van Dyck died in 1641, Dobson probably succeeded him as sergeant-painter to the King, though proof is lacking. During the English Civil War Dobson was based at the Royalist centre of Oxford and painted many leading Cavaliers. His portrait of the future Charles II as Prince of Wales at the age of around twelve is a notable baroque composition, and perhaps his finest work. He also painted the Duke of York, Prince Rupert of the Rhine and Prince Maurice.
Charles II when Prince of Wales, circa 1642 or 1643.Around sixty of Dobson works survive, mostly half-length portraits most of them dated from 1642 or later. The thick impasto of his early work gave way to a mere skim of paint, perhaps reflecting a wartime scarcity of materials. After Oxford fell to the Parliamentarians, in June 1646, Dobson returned to London. Now without patronage, he was briefly imprisoned for debt and died in poverty at the age of thirty-six.
Dobson is regarded as a talented painter with a fine sense for colour and good powers of observation. However, an entirely English training such as Dobson could not be first rate in the early 17th century and he had technical weaknesses. There are examples of Dobson work at Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery in London and at several English country houses. The most comprehensive study of Dobson and his work is William Dobson, 1611?C1646 an exhibition catalogue written by M. Rogers for a 1983 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.Ozias Humphrey
(8 September 1742 - 9 March 1810) was a leading English painter of portrait miniatures, later oils and pastels, of the 18th century. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1791, and in 1792 he was appointed Portrait Painter in Crayons to the King.
Born and schooled in Honiton, Devon, Humphrey was attracted by the gallery of casts opened by the Duke of Richmond and came to London to study art at Shipley's school. He also studied art in Bath (under Samuel Collins, taking over his practice in 1762); in Bath, he lodged with Thomas Linley. As a young artist, his talent was encouraged by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds, among others. His problems with his sight, which ultimately led to blindness.