JOHN SINGER SARGENT (1856-1925)
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida. Sargent’s best portraits reveal the individuality and personality of the sitters; his most ardent admirers think he is matched in this only by Velázquez, who was one of Sargent’s great influences. As a concession to the insatiable demand of wealthy patrons for portraits, Sargent dashed off hundreds of rapid charcoal portrait sketches, which he called “Mugs.” Forty-six of these, spanning the years 1890–1916, were exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1916.