I promised you a new artist - and here he is in a self-portrait:

sargent2

He is John Singer Sargent, a contemporary of Hugh Scott Tuke, and he was born on January 12 1856 in Florence, Italy to American expatriates from Philadelphia, USA.

He became the most successful portrait painter of his era and during his career he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings.

He died in London on 15th April 1925 and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking - not far from where I live.

I shall say more about his life and works as we move forward, but let's begin this series with a typical painting - a domestic family scene.

enfants

The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit 1882


'In 1883 Sargent exhibited at the Salon this portrait which he called Portraits d'Enfants or Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. Its composition was criticized for its "four corners and a void" the children not having any relationship to each other but the painting, overall, was widely praised.The painting is large and exactly square, for this reason and it's composition, it baffled and intrigued the critics of the day"

That comment is taken from a very interesting article about this painting, which you will find at:

http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/Daughters_of_Edward_Darley_Boit.htm