Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Artist Spotlight: John Singer Sargent

Lady Agnew of Locknaw found here

It has been a long day and as I searched for some visual inspiration this evening it was subtle portraits and soft watercolors that drew me in. The works of John Singer Sargent perfectly complement a moment of quiet relaxation, his portraits in particular capturing the beautiful subtleties of his subjects and creating a wonderful complexity. Sargent, who lived from 1854 to 1925, was a realist in his own right and was heavily criticized in his later years for being too old fashioned in his work. He was also criticized for his Venetian watercolors by some and still others disregarded his oil paintings as being unrefined. Since I am not much of an art critic myself, I quite enjoy the traditional qualities of Sargent's paintings as well as the variety of styles he embraced. 

One of Sargent's most criticized and sensational works is the portrait of Madame X, originally titled the Portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau. The Portrait, which is pictured immediately below, caused outrage by many in France for the seductive and scandalous nature of the Madame (keep in mind it was 1884). For the whole juicy story on Madame's portrait, check out this Wikipedia page. You can learn more about Sargent's training, life, and works in general here.

Protrait of Madame X found here

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose found here

The Chess Game found here

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