Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘John Singer Sargent’

John Singer Sargent’s Travel Pictures

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Travel Art!  You can find links below for the rest of the group’s posts this month.  I take a lots of photos when I travel but I really admire those who can sketch cities, landscapes and people when they travel.  An incredibly talented artist (although I am biased), John Singer Sargent is the epitome of the artist-traveler in that he captured his destinations in rich and brilliant but ephemeral scenes.

John Singer Sargent - Grand Canal, Venice

“Grand Canal, Venice”, 1904-1907, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Read more

ArtSmart Roundtable – Copley Library Galleries in Boston

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together posts from some of the best art history-focused travel blogs on a common theme.  For January (and just in time for your 2013 travel planning), we are discussing “The Best Museum You’ve Never Heard Of”.  This is a great topic and I can’t wait to read about all the great finds from the rest of the roundtable!  You can find links below to all the group’s articles.

Boston has some incredible art museums – The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the (currently condensed) Harvard Art Museums .  While I definitely recommend these places, some of my favorite paintings in Boston are actually public art in the central library!  The Copley Square Library was constructed in 1895 and was decorated in a Renaissance revival and Beaux Art style.  Inside are three incredible and overwhelmingly beautiful mural cycles including one by my favorite portrait painter.  The Galleries are free, open to the public 6 days a week and worth a trip for any serious art lover. Read more

My perfect portrait

Françoise GilotWhen I started DaydreamTourist, Picasso’s portrait of Françoise Gilot was a convenient logo.  I even joked in the About section that this is what I look like if he had painted me.  But that got me thinking.  Of all artists past and present, who would I want to create my portrait?

I should say I have always loved portraiture.  The end result is a blend of both how the sitter (or their family) wanted the individual to be represented, what society valued at the time, maybe some of what the artist thinks of the subject and, if you’re lucky, a realistic likeness of someone who once existed.

Domenico Ghirlandaio “Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” is a lesson in wealth and virtue as an elegantly put together woman sits amid her possessions.  Her rigidity reflects her status which is emphasized by the inscription, O art, if thou were able to depict the conduct and soul, no lovelier painting would exist on earth.

Domenico Ghirlandaio - Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni

Domenico Ghirlandaio “Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” 1489-1490, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

There is something to be said for sentimentality and tenderness.  For example, Norman Rockwell’s Richard Nixon seems friendly, familiar and just a tad endearing.

Normal Rockwell - Richard Nixon

Norman Rockwell “Richard Nixon”, 1968, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Many of my favorite masters of realism worked during the Northern Renaissance and produced luminous life-like figures.

Portrait of a Man in a red turban by Jan van Eyck

Jan van Eyck, “The Portrait of a Man” (or “Portrait of a Man in a Turban”)  1433, National Gallery, London

Without a doubt though, I would want my portrait done by John Singer Sargent.  I have heard it said that Sargent liked painting women and it shows in his work.  Looking at his pieces, you start to understand the personality of his subject through quirks in their poses, faces or the portrait’s composition.  I have also admired the fluidity and range of his brushwork moving from well executed facial features to impressionistic clothing and abstracted backgrounds.

John Singer Sargent "Lady Agnew of Lochnaw"

John Singer Sargent “Lady Agnew of Lochnaw”, 1892-93 National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

John Singer Sargent "Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes"

John Singer Sargent “Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes” 1897, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

John Singer Sargent, "Miss Elsie Palmer"

John Singer Sargent, “Miss Elsie Palmer”, 1889-90, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

John Singer Sargent - Mrs. Edward Darley Boit

John Singer Sargent, “Mrs. Edward Darley Boit” 1887, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

John Singer Sargent “Miss Helen Dunham”, private collection

john singer sargent  - beatrice townsend

John Singer Sargent, “Beatrice Townsend” 1882, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

I suppose I should also point out that his portraits of men were really amazing too.

John Singer Sargent - Robert Louis Stevenson

John Singer Sargent, “Robert Louis Stevenson” 1887  The Taft Museum, Cincinnati

John Singer Sargent - Arthur James Balfor

John Singer Sargent, “Arthur James Balfor” 1908, National Portrait Gallery, London

John Singer Sargent - Frederick Law Olmsted

John Singer Sargent “Frederick Law Olmsted”, 1895, Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Thanks to the John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery for images and inspiration.

%d bloggers like this: