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  • John Singer Sargent
    Jan 12, 1856 - Apr 14, 1925
  • Corfu: Lights and Shadows - John Singer Sargent was an American painter by birth-right, and a leading portrait painter of his era. He loved his country yet he spent most of his life in Europe. He was the most celebrated portraitist of his time but left it at the very height of his fame to devote full time to landscape painting, water colors and public art.
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Corfu: Lights and Shadows
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  • Corfu: Lights and Shadows

  • John Singer Sargent
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  • 1909
    watercolor over pencil on paper
    Museum of Fine Arts, United States.

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Other paintings by John Singer Sargent:

Corfu: A Rainy Day
Corfu: A Rainy Day
Corfu: Cypresses
Corfu: Cypresses
Corfu: The Terrace
Corfu: The Terrace
Corner of a Garden
Corner of a Garden
John Singer SargentJohn Singer Sargent was a painter especially known for his fine portraits. He is usually considered an American artist, although he spent most of his life in Europe. Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to USA parents. He studied in Italy and Germany, and then in Paris under Carolus Duran.

His portraits are remarkable for subtly capturing the individuality and personality of the sitters; his most ardent admirers think he is equaled in this only by Velázquez. Sargent's Portrait of Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau), done in 1884, is now considered one of his finest works, but it aroused so much negative reaction in Paris at the time that it prompted Sargent to move to London.

Although Sargent spent less than one year in the United States, some of his finest work is there, especially his decorations for the Boston Public Library. Sargent is usually not considered an impressionist, but he sometimes used impressionistic techniques to great effect, and his Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood is beautifully rendered in an impressionist style.

Around 1910 Sargent largely abandoned portraits, focusing mostly on landscapes in his later years.

In an era when the mainstream of art was focused on Impressionism and emphasizing artistic individuality, Sargent emphasized his own form of Realism and regularly worked doing commissioned portraits of the rich. This caused him to be dismissed as an anachronism at the time, but appreciation of him as a great artist has grown since his death.