Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sargent: The Painter Who Did It ALL

When I first visited the museum's exhibit of John Singer Sargent's (1856-1925) works, I anticipated the works would be excellent Edwardian-era portraits of the pretty (and rich) people. What really happened bowled me over so completely I had to come back for a second tour of the exhibit. I couldn't get enough of Sargent's body of work.

Sargent had mastery of all the paint media of his time - oil, watercolor, pencil and charcoal. He was also the master of any subject - people, architecture, animals, seascapes and landscapes. His best known art showed only a little of what he accomplished in his life: 900 oil paintings and over 2000 water colors, a countless number of charcoals and many murals.

Art was such a compulsion for him that while he was visiting and camping in America he painted finished water color paintings of the camp and surroundings!

Here are a few of his watercolor paintings:(click images to enlarge)

Sargent's reputation as a formal portraitist doesn't consider works such as these:

Sargent grew tired of the time it took to complete a formal oil portrait and chose to work in charcoal.

So, what do you think? Did you already know about Sargent's vast talent?


  1. I didn't realize how extensive his work was. He was a genius! Lori

  2. I had no idea either. I would never have thought him one of my favorites based on his portrait work, but these are wonderful. Thanks for sharing all this knowledge!

  3. Amazing artist. I especially like the "bedouins", if that's the proper word for the subjects.? So much expression with so few

    1. You're correct! It is titled "Bedouins."

  4. amazing painter - KM

  5. "I've always loved his work. Thanks for bringing him back to the forefront." Leslie

  6. "I have a huge crush on Sargent's portraits. Yes."


  7. wonderful paintings Dee

  8. Amazing versatility! I've always admired his work. There is an amazing gallery of mural paintings that he did at the turn of the 20th century in the Boston Public Library, recently restored, which is spell-binding: