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Amedeo Modigliani

Italian, 1884 - 1920

Woman with a Necklace, 1917

Oil on canvas

 

(closeup)

 

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (July 12, 1884 – January 24, 1920) was a Jewish-Italian painter and sculptor who pursued his career for the most part in France. Modigliani was born in Livorno, Italy and began his artistic studies in Italy before moving to Paris in 1906. Influenced by the artists in his circle of friends and associates, by a range of genres and movements, and by primitive art, Modigliani's oeuvre was nonetheless unique and idiosyncratic. He died in Paris of tubercular meningitis—exacerbated by a lifestyle of excess—at the age of 35.

 

Early life

 

Modigliani was born into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy.

 

Livorno was still a relatively new city, by Italian standards, in the late nineteenth century. The city on the Tyrrhenian coast dates from around 1600, when it was transformed from a swampy village into a seaport. The Livorno that Modigliani knew was a bustling centre of commerce focused upon seafaring and shipwrighting, but its cultural history lay in being a refuge for those persecuted for their religion. His own maternal great-great-grandfather was one Solomon Garsin, a Jew who had immigrated to Livorno in the eighteenth century as a religious refugee.

 

Modigliani was the fourth child of Flaminio Modigliani and his wife, Eugenia Garsin. His father was in the money-changing business, but when the business went bankrupt, the family lived in dire poverty. In fact, Amedeo's birth saved the family from certain ruin, as, according to an ancient law, creditors could not seize the bed of a pregnant woman or a mother with a newborn child. When bailiffs entered the family home, just as Eugenia went into labour, the family protected their most valuable assets by piling them on top of the expectant mother.

 

Modigliani had a particularly close relationship with his mother, who taught her son at home until he was ten. Beset with health problems after a bout of typhoid at the age of fourteen, two years later he contracted the tuberculosis which would affect him for the rest of his life. To help him recover from his many childhood illnesses, she took him to Naples in Southern Italy, where the warmer weather was conducive to his convalescence.

 

His mother was, in many ways, instrumental in his ability to pursue art as a vocation. When he was eleven years of age, she had noted in her diary that:

 

“The child's character is still so unformed that I cannot say what I think of it. He behaves like a spoiled child, but he does not lack intelligence. We shall have to wait and see what is inside this chrysalis. Perhaps an artist?"

 

Art student years

 

Modigliani is known to have drawn and painted from a very early age, and thought himself "already a painter", his mother wrote, even before beginning formal studies. Despite her misgivings that launching him on a course of studying art would impinge upon his other studies, his mother indulged the young Modigliani's passion for the subject.

 

At the age of fourteen, while sick with the typhoid fever, he raved in his delirium that he wanted, above all else, to see the paintings in the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi in Florence. As Livorno's local museum only housed a sparse few paintings by the Italian Renaissance masters, the tales he had heard about the great works held in Florence intrigued him, and it was a source of considerable despair to him, in his sickened state, that he might never get the chance to view them in person. His mother promised that she would take him to Florence herself, the moment he was recovered. Not only did she fulfil this promise, but she also undertook to enroll him with the best painting master in Livorno, Guglielmo Micheli.

 

Micheli and the Macchiaioli

 

Modigliani worked in the studio of Micheli from 1898 to 1900. Here his earliest formal artistic instruction took place in an atmosphere deeply steeped in a study of the styles and themes of nineteenth-century Italian art. In his earliest Parisian work, traces of this influence, and that of his studies of Renaissance art, can still be seen: artists such as Giovanni Boldini figure just as much in this nascent work as do those of Toulouse-Lautrec.

 

Modigliani showed great promise while with Micheli, and only ceased his studies when he was forced to, by the onset of tuberculosis.

 

In 1901, whilst in Rome, Modigliani admired the work of Domenico Morelli, a painter of melodramatic Biblical studies and scenes from great literature. It is ironic that he should be so struck by Morelli, as this painter had served as an inspiration for a group of iconoclasts who went by the title, the Macchiaioli (from macchia—"dash of colour", or, more derogatively, "stain"), and Modigliani had already been exposed to the influences of the Macchiaioli. This minor, localised art movement was possessed of a need to react against the bourgeois stylings of the academic genre painters. While sympathetically connected to (and actually pre-dating) the French Impressionists, the Macchiaioli did not make the same impact upon international art culture as did the followers of Monet, and are today largely forgotten outside of Italy.

 

Modigliani's connection with the movement was through Micheli, his first art teacher. Micheli was not only a Macchiaioli himself, but had been a pupil of the famous Giovanni Fattori, a founder of the movement. Micheli's work, however, was so fashionable and the genre so commonplace that the young Modigliani reacted against it, preferring to ignore the obsession with landscape that, as with French Impressionism, characterised the movement. Micheli also tried to encourage his pupils to paint en plein air, but Modigliani never really got a taste for this style of working, sketching in cafes, but preferring to paint indoors, and especially in his own studio. Even when compelled to paint landscapes (three are known to exist), Modigliani chose a proto-Cubist palette more akin to Cézanne than to the Macchiaioli.

 

While with Micheli, Modigliani not only studied landscape, but also portraiture, still-life, and the nude. His fellow students recall that the latter was where he displayed his greatest talent, and apparently this was not an entirely academic pursuit for the teenager: when not painting nudes, he was occupied with seducing the household maid.

 

Despite his rejection of the Macchiaioli approach, Modigliani nonetheless found favour with his teacher, who referred to him as "Superman", a pet name reflecting the fact that Modigliani was not only quite adept at his art, but also that he regularly quoted from Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra. Fattori himself would often visit the studio, and approved of the young artist's innovations.

 

In 1902, Modigliani continued what was to be a life-long infatuation with life drawing, enrolling in the Accademia di Belle Arti (Scuola Libera di Nudo, or "Free School of Nude Studies") in Florence. A year later while still suffering from tuberculosis, he moved to Venice, where he registered to study at the Istituto di Belle Arti.

 

It is in Venice that he first smoked hashish and, rather than studying, began to spend time frequenting disreputable parts of the city. The impact of these lifestyle choices upon his developing artistic style is open to conjecture, although these choices do seem to be more than simple teenage rebellion, or the cliched hedonism and bohemianism that was almost expected of artists of the time; his pursuit of the seedier side of life appears to have roots in his appreciation of radical philosophies, such as those of Nietzsche.

 

Early literary influences

 

Having been exposed to erudite philosophical literature as a young boy under the tutelage of Isaco Garsin, his maternal grandfather, he continued to read and be influenced through his art studies by the writings of Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Carduzzi, Comte de Lautréamont, and others, and developed the belief that the only route to true creativity was through defiance and disorder.

 

Letters that he wrote from his 'sabbatical' in Capri in 1901 clearly indicate that he is being more and more influenced by the thinking of Nietzsche. In these letters, he advised friend Oscar Ghiglia,

 

“(hold sacred all) which can exalt and excite your intelligence... (and) ... seek to provoke ... and to perpetuate ... these fertile stimuli, because they can push the intelligence to its maximum creative power.”

 

The work of Lautréamont was equally influential at this time. This doomed poet's Les Chants de Maldoror became the seminal work for the Parisian Surrealists of Modigliani's generation, and the book became Modigliani's favourite to the extent that he learnt it by heart. The poetry of Lautréamont is characterised by the juxtaposition of fantastical elements, and by sadistic imagery; the fact that Modigliani was so taken by this text in his early teens gives a good indication of his developing tastes. Baudelaire and D'Annunzio similarly appealed to the young artist, with their interest in corrupted beauty, and the expression of that insight through Symbolist imagery.

 

Modigliani wrote to Ghiglia extensively from Capri, where his mother had taken him to assist in his recovery from the tuberculosis. These letters are a sounding board for the developing ideas brewing in Modigliani's mind. Ghiglia was seven years Modigliani's senior, and it is likely that it was he who showed the young man the limits of his horizons in Livorno. Like all precocious teenagers, Modigliani preferred the company of older companions, and Ghiglia's role in his adolescence was to be a sympathetic ear as he worked himself out, principally in the convoluted letters that he regularly sent, and which survive today.

 

“Dear friend

I write to pour myself out to you and to affirm myself to myself. I am the prey of great powers that surge forth and then disintegrate... A bourgeois told me today - insulted me - that I or at least my brain was lazy. It did me good. I should like such a warning every morning upon awakening: but they cannot understand us nor can they understand life...”

 

Paris

 

Arrival

 

In 1906 Modigliani moved to Paris, then the focal point of the avant-garde. In fact, his arrival at the epicentre of artistic experimentation coincided with the arrival of two other foreigners who were also to leave their marks upon the art world: Gino Severini and Juan Gris.

 

He settled in Le Bateau-Lavoir, a commune for penniless artists in Montmartre, renting himself a studio in Rue Caulaincourt. Even though this artists' quarter of Montmartre was characterised by generalised poverty, Modigliani himself presented - initially, at least - as one would expect the son of a family trying to maintain the appearances of its lost financial standing to present: his wardrobe was dapper without ostentation, and the studio he rented was appointed in a style appropriate to someone with a finely attuned taste in plush drapery and Renaissance reproductions. He soon made efforts to assume the guise of the bohemian artist, but, even in his brown corduroys, scarlet scarf and large black hat, he continued to appear as if he were slumming it, having fallen upon harder times.

 

When he first arrived in Paris, he wrote home regularly to his mother, he sketched his nudes at the Colarossi school, and he drank wine in moderation. He was at that time considered by those who knew him as a bit reserved, verging on the asocial. He is noted to have commented, upon meeting Picasso who, at the time, was wearing his trademark workmen's clothes, that even though the man was a genius, that did not excuse his uncouth appearance.

 

Transformation

 

Within a year of arriving in Paris, however, his demeanour and reputation had changed dramatically. He transformed himself from a dapper academician artist into a sort of prince of vagabonds.

 

The poet and journalist Louis Latourette, upon visiting the artist's previously well-appointed studio after his transformation, discovered the place in upheaval, the Renaissance reproductions discarded from the walls, the plush drapes in disarray. Modigliani was already an alcoholic and a drug addict by this time, and his studio reflected this. Modigliani's behaviour at this time sheds some light upon his developing style as an artist, in that the studio had become almost a sacrificial effigy for all that he resented about the academic art that had marked his life and his training up to that point.

 

Not only did he remove all the trappings of his bourgeois heritage from his studio, but he also set about destroying practically all of his own early work. He explained this extraordinary course of actions to his astonished neighbours thus:

“Childish baubles, done when I was a dirty bourgeois."

 

The motivation for this violent rejection of his earlier self is the subject of considerable speculation. The self-destructive tendencies may have stemmed from his tuberculosis and the knowledge (or presumption) that the disease had essentially marked him for an early death; within the artists' quarter, many faced the same sentence, and the typical response was to set about enjoying life while it lasted, principally by indulging in self-destructive actions. For Modigliani such behavior may have been a response to a lack of recognition; it is known that he sought the company of other alcoholic artists such as Utrillo and Soutine, seeking acceptance and validation for his work from his colleagues.

 

Modigliani's behavior stood out even in these Bohemian surroundings: he carried on frequent affairs, drank heavily, and used absinthe and hashish. While drunk he would sometimes strip himself naked at social gatherings. He became the epitome of the tragic artist, creating a posthumous legend almost as well-known as that of Vincent van Gogh.

 

During the 1920s, in the wake of Modigliani's career and spurred on by comments by Andre Salmon crediting hashish and absinthe with the genesis of Modigliani's style, many hopefuls tried to emulate his 'success' by embarking on a path of substance abuse and bohemian excess. Salmon claimed—erroneously—that whereas Modigliani was a totally pedestrian artist when sober,

 

“...from the day that he abandoned himself to certain forms of debauchery, an unexpected light came upon him, transforming his art. From that day on, he became one who must be counted among the masters of living art.”

 

While this propaganda served as a rallying cry to those with a romantic longing to be a tragic, doomed artist, these strategies did not produce unique artistic insights or techniques in those who did not already have them.

 

In fact, art historians suggest that it is entirely possible for Modigliani to have achieved even greater artistic heights had he not been immured in, and destroyed by, his own self-indulgences. We can only speculate what he might have accomplished had he emerged intact from his self-destructive explorations.

 

Output

 

During his early years in Paris, Modigliani worked at a furious pace. He was constantly sketching, making as many as a hundred drawings a day. However, many of his works were lost - destroyed by him as inferior, left behind in his frequent changes of address, or given to girlfriends who did not keep them.

 

He was first influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, but around 1907 he became fascinated with the work of Paul Cézanne. Eventually he developed his own unique style, one that cannot be adequately categorized with other artists.

 

He met the first serious love of his life, Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, in 1910, when he was 26. They had studios in the same building, and although 21-year-old Anna was recently married, they began an affair. Tall (Modigliani was only 5 foot 5 inches) with dark hair (like Modigliani's), pale skin and grey-green eyes, she embodied Modigliani's aesthetic ideal and the pair became engrossed in each other. After a year, however, Anna returned to her husband.

 

Experiments with sculpture

 

In 1909, Modigliani returned home to Livorno, sickly and tired from his wild lifestyle. Soon he was back in Paris, this time renting a studio in Montparnasse. He originally saw himself as a sculptor rather than a painter, and was encouraged to continue after Paul Guillaume, an ambitious young art dealer, took an interest in his work and introduced him to sculptor Constantin Brancusi.

 

Although a series of Modigliani's sculptures were exhibited in the Salon d'Automne of 1912, he abruptly abandoned sculpting and focused solely on his painting.

 

Question of influences

 

In Modigliani's art, there is evidence of the influence of primitive art from Africa and Cambodia which he may have seen in the Musée de l'Homme, but his stylisations are just as likely to have been the result of his being surrounded by Mediaeval sculpture during his studies in Northern Italy (there is no recorded information from Modigliani himself, as there is with Picasso and others, to confirm the contention that he was influenced by either ethnic or any other kind of sculpture). A possible interest in African tribal masks seems to be evident in his portraits. In both his painting and sculpture, the sitters' faces resemble ancient Egyptian painting in their flat and masklike appearance, with distinctive almond eyes, pursed mouths, twisted noses, and elongated necks. However these same chacteristics are shared by Medieval European sculpture and painting.

 

Modigliani painted a series of portraits of contemporary artists and friends in Montparnasse: Chaim Soutine, Moise Kisling, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Marie "Marevna" Vorobyev-Stebeslka, Juan Gris, Max Jacob, Blaise Cendrars, and Jean Cocteau, all sat for stylized renditions.

 

At the outset of World War I, Modigliani tried to enlist in the army but was refused because of his poor health.

 

The war years

 

Known as Modì, which roughly translates as 'morbid' or 'moribund', by many Parisians, but as Dedo to his family and friends, Modigliani was a handsome man, and attracted much female attention.

 

Women came and went until Beatrice Hastings entered his life. She stayed with him for almost two years, was the subject for several of his portraits, including Madame Pompadour, and the object of much of his drunken wrath.

 

When the British painter Nina Hamnett arrived in Montparnasse in 1914, on her first evening there the smiling man at the next table in the café introduced himself as Modigliani; painter and Jew. They became great friends.

 

In 1916, Modigliani befriended the Polish poet and art dealer Leopold Zborovski and his wife Anna.

 

Jeanne Hébuterne

 

The following summer, the Russian sculptor Chana Orloff introduced him to a beautiful 19-year-old art student named Jeanne Hébuterne who had posed for Foujita. From a conservative bourgeois background, Hébuterne was renounced by her devout Roman Catholic family for her liaison with the painter, whom they saw as little more than a debauched derelict, and, worse yet, a Jew. Despite her family's objections, soon they were living together, and although Hébuterne was the love of his life, their public scenes became more renowned than Modigliani's individual drunken exhibitions.

 

On December 3, 1917, Modigliani's first one-man exhibition opened at the Berthe Weill Gallery. The chief of the Paris police was scandalized by Modigliani's nudes and forced him to close the exhibition within a few hours after its opening.

 

After he and Hébuterne moved to Nice, she became pregnant and on November 29, 1918 gave birth to a daughter whom they named Jeanne (1918-1984).

 

Nice

 

During a trip to Nice, conceived and organized by Leopold Zborovski, Modigliani, Tsuguharu Foujita and other artists tried to sell their works to rich tourists. Modigliani managed to sell a few pictures but only for a few francs each. Despite this, during this time he produced most of the paintings that later became his most popular and valued works.

 

During his lifetime he sold a number of his works, but never for any great amount of money. What funds he did receive soon vanished for his habits.

 

In May of 1919 he returned to Paris, where, with Hébuterne and their daughter, he rented an apartment in the rue de la Grande Chaumière. While there, both Jeanne Hébuterne and Amedeo Modigliani painted portraits of each other, and of themselves.

 

Last days

 

Although he continued to paint, Modigliani's health was deteriorating rapidly, and his alcohol-induced blackouts became more frequent.

 

In 1920, after not hearing from him for several days, his downstairs neighbor checked on the family and found Modigliani in bed delirious and holding onto Hébuterne who was nearly nine months pregnant. They summoned a doctor, but little could be done because Modigliani was dying of the then-incurable disease tubercular meningitis.

 

Modigliani died on January 24, 1920. There was an enormous funeral, attended by many from the artistic communities in Montmartre and Montparnasse.

 

Hébuterne was taken to her parents' home, where, inconsolable, she threw herself out of a fifth-floor window two days after Modigliani's death, killing herself and her unborn child. Modigliani was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery. Hébuterne was buried at the Cimetière de Bagneux near Paris, and it was not until 1930 that her embittered family allowed her body to be moved to rest beside Modigliani.

 

Modigliani died penniless and destitute—managing only one solo exhibition in his life and giving his work away in exchange for meals in restaurants. Had he lived through the 1920s when American buyers flooded Paris, his fortunes might well have changed. Since his death his reputation has soared. Nine novels, a play, a documentary and three feature films have been devoted to his life.

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: feminine beauty

 

Description: feminine beauty,

art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography) portraying the essential beauty of women;

expressing femininity through color, composition, lighting, feelings, mood, style;

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Portrait of Madame X' (1884 Salon @29), cropped to top half

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait; orig'l size 234.95 x 109.86 cm (92.5 x 43.3 in)

  

© 2010-2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

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CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

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ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

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LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

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CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

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SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

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BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

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INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

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STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

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VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

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FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

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CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

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FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: feminine beauty

 

Description: feminine beauty,

art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography) portraying the essential beauty of women;

expressing femininity through color, composition, lighting, feelings, mood, style;

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Portrait of Madame X' (1884 Salon @29), cropped to top third

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape; orig'l size 234.95 x 109.86 cm (92.5 x 43.3 in)

  

© 2010-2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

  

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: feminine beauty

 

Description: feminine beauty,

art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography) portraying the essential beauty of women;

expressing femininity through color, composition, lighting, feelings, mood, style;

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Portrait of Madame X' (1884 Salon @29), uncropped

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait; orig'l size 234.95 x 109.86 cm (92.5 x 43.3 in)

  

© 2010-2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, cropped to top half

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: feminine beauty

 

Description: feminine beauty,

art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography) portraying the essential beauty of women;

expressing femininity through color, composition, lighting, feelings, mood, style;

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Portrait of Madame X' (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29), uncropped, brown side glow

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait; orig'l size 234.95 x 109.86 cm (92.5 x 43.3 in)

  

© 2010-2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, black background with orange/green light from tint in painting

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, black background with lantern glow

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, orange-green background from tint in painting + yellow lantern glow

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, orange-green background from tint in painting + yellow lantern glow

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, black background with lantern glow

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped, black background with orange/green light from tint in painting

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: Masters art

 

Description: art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, architectural) throughout human history, from all cultures + styles

 

hand-picked not for just art history's sake but for aesthetic / emotional / spiritual / sensual / socio-political...cultural effect / influence; thus proving human genius at its best ; )

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1877 Royal Aca. @31), girls aglow with lanterns in typical magical enchanting British garden, uncropped

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, portrait

  

© 2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle

 

INGRES, Jean-Auguste-Dominique.

(b. 1780, Montauban, d. 1867, Paris).

.

Madame Moitessier.

1856.

Oil on canvas, 120 x 92 cm.

National Gallery, London.

.

It is often said that while Delacroix was the great proponent of French Romanticism, his older contemporary Ingres was the champion of the classical tradition: obsessed with Raphael and antiquity, upholder of 'drawing' versus 'colour'. Real life being less tidy, however, we find that Delacroix was a more calculating artist than the hyper-emotional Ingres, who did not hesitate to break academic rules for expressive ends. Both painted subjects from literature and history, and his response to the female nude is as charged with erotic longing and scarcely sublimated violence as Delacroix's. Nor did Ingres invariably emulate Raphael and Poussin. Throughout his long career he tried to match style to subject, looking in turn to Greek vase painting, to the Early Renaissance, even to the Dutch seventeenth-century painters of everyday life..

.

It is, however, true that drawing was of primary importance to him. Forced to support himself and his wife in Rome in 1814 by drawing the English tourists who flocked back to the city liberated from French rule, he developed a wonderfully spare, yet lively and descriptive line. Although he despised portraiture as a lower form of art, like his teacher David Ingres came to excel in it. Few of his painted portraits are more sumptuous than Madame Moitessier, begun in 1847 but completed only in 1856 when the artist, as he tells us in his signature, was 76..

.

He had originally refused to paint this wealthy banker's wife, but when he met her he was so captivated by her beauty that he agreed, asking her to bring her small daughter, 'la charmante Catherine', whose head is visible under her mother's arm in a preparatory drawing in the Ingres Museum in Montauban. The doubtless bored and wriggling child was soon banished as Ingres wrestled with the picture, requiring long hours of immobility from his model. The sitter's dress was changed more than once. Ingres is recorded as still working on the portrait in 1847. The death of his wife in 1849 left him in despair and unable to paint for many months. In 1851 he began sittings anew and completed a standing likeness of Inès Moitessier in black (now in Washington). He returned to the seated version in 1852..

.

When he had finished four years later the sitter was 35. Ageless like a goddess with her Grecian profile impossibly reflected in a mirror parallel to the back of her head but dressed with Second Empire opulence in flowered chintz, Madame Moitessier exemplifies the ambiguities of Ingres's art. The firm contour of her shoulders, arms and face defines flesh perfectly rounded - though barely modelled - and as poreless, smooth and luminous as polished alabaster, yet paradoxically soft to the touch. In contrast to the resiliently buxom horsehair settee, it arouses fantasies and fears of bruising. The pose, with head resting against the right forefinger, derives from an ancient wall painting and signifies as Ingres must have known matronly modesty. But 'classicising' devices are offset by the minutely realistic transcription of the surfaces of fabrics, the fashionable parure of jewels, ormolu frames, Oriental porcelain. The mixture of the general with the particular, timeless grandeur with bourgeois ostentation, languor with pictorial rigour, is unique to Ingres and far from bloodlessly Neo-classical..

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--- Keywords: --------------.

.

Author: INGRES, Jean-Auguste-Dominique.

Title: Madame Moitessier.

Form: painting.

Time-line: 1801-1850.

School: French.

Type: portrait.

 

Theme: iSphere wallpaper

 

Subject: feminine beauty

 

Description: feminine beauty,

art (painting, drawing, sculpting, photography) portraying the essential beauty of women;

expressing femininity through color, composition, lighting, feelings, mood, style;

 

art work from antiquity to modern times;

all art is by original artists, yet reformatted + designed to fit wallpapers by the GraphicJungle

 

art work:

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925 @69 Am. realist painter, leading portraitist) 'Portrait of Madame X' (1884 Salon @29), uncropped

 

Format: 10124 x 768 pixels (iPad HD), 150dpi, RGB, landscape; brown sides, orig'l size 234.95 x 109.86 cm (92.5 x 43.3 in)

  

© 2010-2011

  

John Singer Sargent History

======================

BIRTH:

John Singer Sargent

born Florence, Italy 1856 Jan 12, d. 1925 Apr 14 @69 in London; buried in Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, UK

 

American, leading portrait painter of his generation

 

---------------------------

CHILDHOOD:

 

dad: FitzWilliam, eye surgeon, Philadelphia

 

traveling influence:

older sisters dies @2, family leaves country to recover yet remains nomadic expatriates forever, following the seasons to the mountains + sea in France / Italy / Germany / Switzerland

 

JSS was born on this trip in Florence

his next sister Mary (named after mom) is born a yr later, forcing dad to quit U.S. job + join family in Italy

 

they live modestly on small inheritance / savings, generally avoided society + Americans (except artists)

 

another 4 kids were born, 2 die in childhood, hence 4 grow up

  

---------------------------

ADULTHOOD

 

JSS reached total fame at 40!

 

he then painted a little less (portraits), traveled more

when he painted 'An Interior in Venice' (1900, of the Curtis family in their Palazzo Barbaro) whose looseness ('smudge everywhere') (22 year older) Whistler did not approve of (though hailed by critics)

(Whistler was Brit. but Am. born, the opposite of JSS, even in style, as Whistler was a moral allusionist, lead in credo "art for art's sake" though similarly influenced by music in painting, calling his works 'arrangements' / 'harmonies' / 'nocturnes')

 

1907 @51 shuts studio!

but did some landscapes

  

---------------------------

LOVE:

 

life-long bachelor

friends-family-man

extremely private

early Playboy as sex life 'was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger.' (quote from Jacques-Émile Blanche, painter + early sitter)

homosexual tendencies

affair with model Louise Burckhardt (portrait 1882 @27)

  

---------------------------

CHARACTER:

 

- rambunctious child

"willful, curious, determined and strong" (after mother)

yet shy, generous, modest (after father)

- later over-confident

- paunchy physique (depicted + popularized by Brit. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm in 1900s)

  

---------------------------

SCHOOL

 

- initially failed due to family's itinerant life-style

- 1st lessons @13! (watercolor) from Carl Welsch (German landscape painter)

- quickly grows into highly literate / cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art / music / literature, fluent in French / Italian / German

 

- 2nd lessons, 1874 @18 JSS passed rigorous admission exam on 1st attempt! @ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (France's premier art school); learned anatomy + perspective; gained Silver prize

 

- 3rd lessons, 1874-1878 @18-22, not at Academy of Florence as they were re-organizing, but under Carolus-Duran (bold technique + modern teaching methods, anti-academic; alla prima or direct-to-canvas method dev. by Velázquez) in Paris; other Americans artists (Weir / Eakins) studied the traditional style of Jean Léon Gérôme

 

- 4th lessons: self-study: drawing in museums + painting in studio shared with James Carroll Beckwith (valuable friend + Sargent's primary connection with Am. artists abroad)

 

- 5th lessons: Léon Bonnat

 

ideal artist who traveled the world to learn, as in the Renaissance Men:

Venice to Tyrol / Corfu / Middle East / Montana / Maine / Florida

  

---------------------------

BRITAIN:

 

since 1881, long before his decommission in France with Mme X in 1884, he has started sending the British Royal Academy paintings for exhibition; by 1886, 2 years after the X scandal, he moved to London @31, thanks to numerous portrait commissions, encouraged the entire time by friend Henry James (writer).

  

---------------------------

INFLUENCED BY:

 

mom who early on encouraged him to visit Europe + museums + drawing excursions

mom was fine amateur artist

dad was skilled medical illustrator

 

initial subject (13-18): landscapes

initially JSS copied ships from The Illustrated London News; dad hoped it would lead JSS to join navy

 

later (18 onwards): portraits

portrait painting was easier to get commissioned for + to enter Salons than harder though more prestigious history paintings; livelihood was of essence as usual

 

Carolus-Duran (1874-78 @18-22)

Léon Bonnat

Diego Velázquez (1879) (alla prima method); JSS was passionately absorbed by Velazquez + Spanish music/dance…re-awakened his own talent for music, acting as skillful accompanist to pros + amateurs…expressed in El Jaleo (1882 @27)

 

friendship with Paul César Helleu allowed him to meet Degas / Rodin (1884) / Monet (1885) / Whistler

 

visits Monet at Giverny 1885 @30, buys 4 of Monet's paintings

  

---------------------------

STYLE:

 

- mature art skills

- unusual concentration + stamina; seemingly effortless facility for paraphrasing masters in contemporary fashion

- portraits reveal individuality / personality of subjects (nervous energy) (pleasant familiarity w/ subjects)

- early: unusual composition + lighting to striking effect

- not an impressionist but using its technique to his advantage i.e. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood

- late (Britain): returned to landscape (charming English countryside : )

- portrait painter in the grand manner (ennobling subjects)

- realism

- 1880s tried British Impressionist Salon in plein-air style (French Impressionists did not consider him Impressionist; Monet even said he's too influenced by Carolus-Duran)

 

JSS would visit sitter's home to see where painting would hang + helped choose attire, but usually painted in studio (well-stocked w/ furniture/backdrops)

 

usually req. 8-10 sittings, face in 1

usu. kept pleasant conversation (he hated) and/or took piano breaks

 

as for landscapes: he showed equal restless intensity, working day morning to night

 

watercolors were his most vivid / experimental vs. pressured portraiture

early water colors: M.E. / N Africa: Bedouins / goatherds / fisherman

late water colors: mostly faun / flora / natives…in Maine / Florida / W Am.

this was the period, in last decade, when he painted most purely for himself, showing joyful fluidness – hence extensively family / friends / gardens / fountains

 

no assistants!

prepped canvas, arranged for photos, shipping, documentation, bureaucracy all independently

  

---------------------------

VALUE:

 

live portraits cost ≈ $5k ($130k! today; 26x) (1890s @34+, UK, avg. 14 commissions/yr = $1.8M!!)

late (1900s) portrait drawings: $400 ($10.4K today; 12.5 cheaper than full oil portraits)

auction value:

  

---------------------------

FAME:

 

instantly popular due superior talent + command of French language

 

1877 @21 1st Salon got him attention (1st major portrait, of friend Fanny Watts)

1877 2nd Salon entry was impressionistic 'Oyster Gatherers of Cançale' (he made 2nd copy for US Salon)

1879 @23 portrait of Carolus-Duran (his teacher since 1874) hailed at Salon (for tribute to famed Duran + as mature ad for portrait commissions); see Henry James'critique below

1887 @ 31 1st success at Brit. Royal Academy 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (immediately bought by Tate Gallery! where it's still hanging today)

1887-88 1st trip to NY/Boston begets him over 20 commissions

1888 largest JSS commission from single patron by Asher Wertheimer, wealthy London Jewish art dealer (bequeathing most to National Gallery)

 

1890s associate of the Royal Academy; full mbr. 3 yrs later

1905 @49 1st major solo watercolors exhibit, Carfax Gallery, London

1909 @53 exhibits 86 watercolors in NYC (83 bought by Brooklyn Museum! then)

1907 @51, upon closing studio, declines British Knighthood! (preferring to keep Am. citizenship)

1918 @62, upon return UK from 2 yr stay in US, commissioned as a war artist by Brit. Ministry of Info i.e. 'Gassed' (1919) (WWI mustard gas)

JSS confidently set high prices + turned down unsatisfactory sitters

  

---------------------------

CRITIQUE:

 

1879 Henry James (Am./Brit. writer, key figure in 19C literary realism or impressionist writing style) on JSS's early works offers "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle of a talent which on the very threshold of its career has nothing more to learn."

 

1886 @31 he moved to London after French Mme X scandal; initially Brits critiqued him as 'Frenchified' (cold, harsh, inpallpable, inexpressive)

 

water colors in general: 'Everything is given with the intensity of a dream.'

 

'the Van Dyck of our times'

 

Camille Pissarro 'he is not an enthusiast but rather an adroit performer'

Walter Sickert's satire 'Sargentolatry'

 

1927, 2 years after JSS's death, Hon. Sir Evan Edward Charteris (1864-1940 Brit. biographer / barrister / arts administrator / publisher of JSS biography!) 'To live with Sargent's water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.'' (JSS was not as critically respected as the ultimate Am. watercolorist Winslow Homer, 1836-1910, 20 years younger than JSS, but close)

 

1917 following his encore portrait, Rockefeller, modern critics consider him past tense, completely out of touch with the reality of American life vs trendy Cubism + Futurism; JSS quietly accepts new criticism but refuses to alter his negative opinions of modern art; part of his fall due to rise in anti-Semitism (intolerance of 'celebrations of Jewish prosperity') i.e. his single biggest patron Wertheimer (jewish art dealer) + authentic Americanism (when JSS was an expatriate)

 

1926 Roger Fry, biggest critic @ London's Sargent retrospective 'Wonderful indeed, but most wonderful that this wonderful performance should ever have been confused with that of an artist.' on lack of aesthetic quality

 

1930s severest critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990; Am. literary critic / historian / philosopher of tech) 'Sargent remained to the end an illustrator…the most adroit appearance of workmanship, the most dashing eye for effect, cannot conceal the essential emptiness of Sargent's mind, or the contemptuous and cynical superficiality of a certain part of his execution.'

 

1950s/60s Victorian art revival helped his popularity return

  

---------------------------

FAMOUS WORKS:

 

01. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1877 Royal Aca. @31)

02. Portrait of Madame X (Mme Pierre Gautreau) (1884 Salon @29) (currently at MET)

(personal fave, considered his best too) (most controversial work as infuriated by Paris Salon; back-firing self-confidence as she did not commission it + he pursued her for the opportunity + she was portrayed with equally arrogantly cocked head + over-sensual – new negative critique + dried up French commissions are also probable cause for his move to London and/or his wish to pursue msuic or business instead!; shame as painted Mme Gautreau over 1 yr! + his best work)

 

03. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892 @36)

04. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1879 @24, influenced by Velázquez's Las Meninas 1656)

05. El Jaleo (1882 @27)

06. The Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Burckhardt) (1882 @27) (friend, rumored romantic involvement)

07. even 2 U.S. pres. Theodore Roosevelt + Woodrow Wilson

08. LAST regular portrait 1907: modest / serious self-portrait (in Uffizi Gallery)

09. John D. Rockefeller (1917 @61)

10. very last portrait 1925 @69: 'Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston' (daughter of Monroe Hinds, former US Minister to Brazil)

11. Largest works: murals of Boston Public Library (depicts history/triumph of religion); 24 years in the making, final panel never done!; restored 2003-2004, as hidden for all these years, even showing the controversial paintings; if Mme X was his most controversial portrait @29 in 1884 Paris, this Boston mural starting @39 in 1895 was the next most controversial work, when it reached controversy in 1919 @63 as he painted 'The Church' and 'The Synagogue,' politically incorrect or offending Boston's Jews, since it depicts human progress as Christian (radiant young woman vs. old blind hag)…since JSS abandoned the job thereafter, the public outcry died too

  

---------------------------

QUOTE:

 

1. self-confidence

'I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty. ...you might tell her that I am a man of prodigious talent.' him on Mme X poser ; )

 

2. work

'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.' him 1907 @51 when closing studio

  

---------------------------

LEGACY:

 

≈ 900 oil paintings (avg. 14 portrait commissions/yr)

2,000+ watercolors

countless sketches/charcoal drawings (JSS called them rapid charcoal portraits 'Mugs')

 

Grand Central Art Galleries (GCAG):

JSS founded this 1922 with Edmund Greacen, Walter Leighton Clark etc.

to increase Americans' awareness of essence of art + act as largest sales gallery ww! ($100-$10k)

the NY Central Railroad gifted the top of the Grand Central Terminal (6 floors! 15000 sf or 1400 m2)

- launched 1923 Mar 23

- initial art: painting, sculpture

- JSS was actively involved in GCAG + its academy Grand Central School of Art till death in 1925

- 1928, 3 yrs after his death, GCAG exhibited 100s of his sketches (found in his London studio, entrusted to organize by his sister to GCAG co-founder Leighton)

- GCAG was in Grand Central 1923-1958 (35 years), moving to smaller, 2nd floor on Biltmore Hotel for 23 years till 1981, then 24 W 57th St for ca. a decade when closed in early 1990s.

  

© 2010-2011 iSphere / the graphicJungle