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View allAll Photos Tagged portraiture in the style of the renaissance Academic Art

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

 

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

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 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: 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