Master Studies: Golden Age of Illustration and John Singer Sargent

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Though born to American parents in 1856, John Singer Sargent began painting under a leading French artist named Carolus-Duran, who emphasized painterly freedom and study of the works of Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Sir Anthony van Dyke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the Spanish master Diego Velázquez. Though he painted and won acclaim for genre scenes and subject pictures, the demand for portrait commissions defined his reputation.

Through these studies I got a feel for how he wove impressionist techniques he may have learned through association with Claude Monet while focusing with more realism on key areas like the face and hands in these portraits. Sargent’s impressionistic style compliments the realism and enhances it. I also enjoyed his exquisite use of color, especially his blues and greens that are reminiscent of Claude Monet’s palette.