John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

John Singer Sargent was a painter who was born in America but spent most of his life in Europe. Sargent painted portraits at the height of his fame, but his true passion was landscape painting, watercolor paintings and public art. Sargent was neither new nor revolutionary, but combined the rich and varied styles that were already established into his own style of Realism.

Sargent was born in Florence and was trained by the French school, where the Impressionists and the Spanish painter Diego Velasquez influenced him. Although not considered strictly an Impressionist painter, his Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood painting displays his take on the Impressionist style and technique. Sargent was a favorite painter of Parisians until his infamous painting Madame X caused a minor scandal when it was deemed too erotic and eccentric when exhibited at the 1884 Salon.

Sargent s paintings created an enduring image of aristocratic, Edwardian society. His elegant portraits, such as Mrs. Ralph Curtis, were painted with slashing brushstrokes, as if candidly capturing the subject off-guard.

Sargent worked seven days a week, and at the height of his artistic career, between 1877 and 1925, Sargent painted over 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors. His vast oeuvre proves that he traveled the world over, and many exotic and rural destinations inspired a unique landscape painting.

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