Friday, 18 April 2014

John Singer Sargent - part 23

Sargent's palette, oil paints and brushes Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA
John Singer Sargent (1866 - 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocation of Edwardian era luxury. During his career he created approximately 900 oil paintings and more than 2000 watercolours, 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, amongst others.

This is part 23 of a 23-part post on the works of John Singer Sargent. For full biographical notes see part 1. For earlier works see parts 1 - 22 also.


1921 Charles Woodbury oil on canvas 71.4 x 41.8 cm National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

1921 Eleonora Randolph Sears charcoal on paperboard 62.9 x 47.6 cm Private Collection

1921 Renatta Borgatti charcoal on paper

1921 Sand Beach, Schooner Head, Maine watercolour on paper 33.6 x 52.7 cm Private Collection

1921 Seated Male Nude, Arms Uplifted charcoal with stumping on ivory laid paper 47.4 x 62.7 cm Art Institute of Chicago IL

1922 General Officers of World War I
National Portrait Gallery, London: “Sargent, who initially declined the commission, began work on the military group portrait on his return from America in August 1920. He found the commission particularly difficult, writing to Sir James Guthrie (who was working on the politicians portrait) in Sepember of that year: ‘But I am merely collecting material and have not yet evolved any scheme of the picture as a whole. I am handicapped by the idea that they never could have been altogether in any sort of interesting background and reduced to painting them all standing up in a vacuum’. Certainly this painting does not have the characteristic brilliance of Sargent’s other work and was described by a former director of the National Portrait Gallery as ‘Still Life with Boots’.


1922 General Officers of World War I oil on canvas 299.7 x 528.3 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London
 Studies in left to right order as in the painting:

1922c William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood chalk 59.1 x 48.3 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London

1919-22c Jan Christian Smuts oil on canvas 80.6 x 65.4 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Louis Botha graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1919-22c Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson of Trent oil on canvas 55.9 x 40.6 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London

1920-21 General Henry Sinclair, Baron Horne, 1861 - 1929. Soldier (Study for portrait in General Officers of World War I) oil on canvas 56 x 41 cm National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

1920-22 George Francis Milne, 1st Baron Milne, 1866 - 1948. Field-Marshal (Study for portrait in General Officers of World War I, 1914 - 1918) oil on canvas 56 x 40.7 cm National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

1922c Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, 1st Bt graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1919-22c Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, 1st Bt oil on canvas 54.6 x 39.4 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, 1861 - 1928. Soldier oil on canvas 56 x 41 cm National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

1922c John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1919-22c John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres oil on canvas 54.6 x 39.4 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

18a. 1922c Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London

1922c Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c (Frederic) Rudolph Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Sir Charles Macpherson Dobell graphite 35.6 x 21.6 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

1922c Sir Charles Macpherson Dobell graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Sir Charles Macpherson Dobell oil on canvas 55.8 x 40.6 cm Private Collection

1921 Unknown man (Haig?) graphite 35.6 x 21.9 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London.
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1922 The Artist Sketching oil on canvas 55.9 x 71.1 cm Private Collection on loan to Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Providence RI

1922 The Countess of Rocksavage, later Marchioness of Cholmondeley oil on canvas 161.3 x 89.8 cm Private Collection

1923 Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor chalk 55.9 x 38.1 cm © National Portrait Gallery, London

1923 Robert Gould Shaw III charcoal on paper 55.9 x 41.9 cm Private Collection

1923 Sir Philip Sassoon oil on canvas 95.2 x 57.8 cm Tate, London

1923-24 Abbot Lawrence Lowell oil on canvas 140.6 x 98.7 cm Harvard University Portrait Collection, Cambridge MA

1924 Captain Herbert M. Sears on deck of the Schooner Yacht Constellation watercolour and gouache on paper Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA

1924 Charlotte Nichols Greene and her Son Stephen, 1924 charcoal on paper 44.5 x 60.4 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1924 Constellation: Rainy Day on the Yacht graphite and watercolour on paper 33.7 x 53.3 cm Colby College of Art ME

1924 Emily Winthrop Miles (Mrs. Corey Lucien Miles) charcoal on laid paper 61 x 46 cm Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA

1924 Harold Irving Pratt, Jr. (at age 20) charcoal on cream paper 60 x 45 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1924 Kate Winthrop Morse (Mrs. Darwin S. Morse) charcoal on laid paper 61 x 46 cm Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA

1924 Sir William Hedworth Williamson charcoal 52.7 x 27.9 cm Private Collection

1925 Grace Elvina, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston oil on canvas 129.2 x 92.4 cm Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH

1925 Miss Elizabeth Williamson charcoal 53.3 x 30.5 cm Private Collection

All of Sargent’s murals are to be found in the Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts area. They are in the Boston Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, and Harvard University’s Widener Library. Sargent’s largest scale works are the mural decorations that grace the Boston Public Library depicting the history of religion and the gods of polytheism. They were attached to the walls of the library by means of marouflage (using an adhesive that hardens as it dries such as plaster or cement). He worked on the cycle for almost thirty years but never completed the final mural. The murals were restored in 2003-04.

1922-25 Atlas and Hesperides

1922-24 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides graphite and oil on canvas 86.4 x 86.4 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Atlas and the Hesperides oil on canvas Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides graphite and charcoal on paper 47.5 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas charcoal on paper 47.6 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides graphite and charcoal on paper 48 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides: Hesperides charcoal on paper 47 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides: Hesperides graphite and charcoal on paper 48 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides: One of the Hesperides graphite and charcoal on paper 47.5 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Study for Hesperides, for "Atlas and the Hesperides" charcoal on laid paper 46.8 x 63.2 cm Harvard Art Museums - Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides: Two of the Hesperides charcoal on paper 47.6 x 63 cm Museum of FIne Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Sketch for Atlas and the Hesperides: Two of the Hesperides charcoal on paper 48 x 63 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA
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1922-24 Sketch for Chiron and Achilles graphite and oil on canvas 87 x 79.4 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Chiron and Achilles oil on canvas 348 x 317.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA


1922-25 Hercules and the Hydra oil on canvas 348 x 317.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Orestes oil on canvas 348 x 317.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa oil on canvas 348 x 317.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA


1922-24 Sketch for Phaethon graphite and oil on canvas 89.5 x 89.5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 Phaethon oil on canvas 307.3 cm diameter Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1921-25 Museum of Fine Arts Mural Study: The Winds I watercolour on board 24 x 59.7 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1921-25 Museum of Fine Arts Mural Study: The Winds II watercolour on board 24 x 58.7 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

1922-25 The Winds oil on canvas 327.7 x 767.1 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

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