John Singer Sargent – A Life through Pictures


Sargent was a truly international figure, born in Italy, studied in France, lived in London and America and painted in many places including Venice, Capri, North Africa, France, Broadway in Worcestershire, Palestine, Spain and the United States.

His reputation is based on his portraits which are technically magnificent, but he was also one of the greatest watercolourists of the 19th century as well as being a wonderful landscape painter. He had a wide circle of friends including Claude Monet whose work he promoted in England, and can be considered one of the leading exponents of Impressionism in this country. He liked to be surrounded by friends and often took friends and family on his painting trips abroad, particularly to the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice. Sargemt was a great linguist being fluent in French, Italian and Spanish and he was also a fine musician plying the piano to concert level. He also had a love of Spanish music which he sang and accompanied on the guitar

His reputation has suffered as many critics see him as a flashy artist who never progressed beyond the superficial. I contest this view and see him as an extraordinary and fascinating talent.