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  • John Singer Sargent
    Jan 12, 1856 - Apr 14, 1925
  • The Brook - 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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The Brook
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  • The Brook

  • John Singer Sargent
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  • 1907
    Oil on canvas
    54.61 cm (21.5 in.) x 68.58 cm (27 in.)
    Private collection.

    The girl seated in the foreground of this painting is the artist's niece, Rose Marie Ormond (1893–1918), daughter of Mrs Francis Ormond and later wife of Robert Michel. She appears with her sister, Reine Ormond (Mrs Hugo Pitman), in another painting ‘The Brook’ in the possession of Mrs Francis Ormond's second son Mr F. Guillaume Ormond in July 1961 (information from Mr Hugo Pitman, 18 July 1961), where they are dressed in Oriental costume. The site in both pictures is almost identical, a mountain stream at the Chalets de Purtud, near Courmayeur, Val d'Aosta, just south-west of Mont Blanc and almost 5,000 ft. above sea-level.

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Other paintings by John Singer Sargent:

Staircase in Capri
Staircase in Capri
Muddy Alligators
Muddy Alligators
El Jaleo
El Jaleo
Reapers Resting in a Wheat Field (The Threshers)
Reapers Resting in a Wheat Field (The Threshers)
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.