Happy Birthday John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent, 1903

So today marks the 163th anniversary of the 
birth of John Singer Sargent.  
He is a favorite of mine.
His portraits of Edwardian era aristocracy paid the bills,
to say the very least.

The Children of Edward Darley Boit, 1882

Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

But it was the paintings of his travels throughout
Europe, the Middle East and the US that resonate most with me.
Those of the "everyday" people.
Born to American parents in Florence, Italy
he studied in Paris and then took up residence in London.
Fluent in English, French, Italian and German,
he was able to travel and study throughout Europe.
He loved landscapes but turned to portraits 
which grew with his ease of languages and
steadiness and lasted for 25 years.  

Here is a portrait of Capri beauty, Rosina Ferrrara.

El Jaleo, 1879-1882

Then it was his portrait of Madam X, 1884-1885,
(Madam Gautreau)
said to be his favorite and probably his most famous.  
He had expected rave reviews but generated severe negative reaction.
It was just a little too risqué for the times
revealing a plunging neckline and bare shoulders.

Originally painted with the right strap slipping off her shoulder, 
he repainted to put the strap to a more respectable place
on her shoulder in hopes 
of repairing the "damage", but to no avail.
It was just after that he moved to London.

Sargent traveled to the US and painted in New York and Boston 
where he painted several portraits and
had his first solo exhibition.
He returned to London where he garnered up to 
$5000 per portrait, handsome sum in those times.
In 1807 he closed his studio having grown tired of 
portraiture and turned to watercolor landscapes. 
Here is a favorite of Venice.
Scuola  Di San Rocco, 1807
He was even offered a knighthood, which he turned down as to 
keep his US citizenship.
He continued to paint until his death of heart disease in 1925.

But it is this one - truly my very favourite of all.
It leaves me breathless . . .
Fumee D'ambre Gris, 1880

It always makes me feel like.....
Nonchalor, 1911

Hope you enjoyed some of his "stuff".
Google to see more of this incredible painters works.
Portraits of Monet painting in his garden, 
presidential portrait of Woodrow Wilson,
alligators in Florida, snoozing Gondoliers of Venice, 
his works are amazing.

Thanks for dropping in to Moonlight Lane....

xx - holly