Carmela Bertagna

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 - 1925)

circa 1880. Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 x 19 1/2". [57]1943.011

John Singer Sargent was born in Florence, Italy, to American parents, and he trained as a painter in Italy and Paris. Eventually, he became the most celebrated portrait painter of the newly rich of the industrial age on both sides of the Atlantic. Sargent was a great admirer of the Baroque masters Frans Hals and Diego Velázquez. Like their work, Sargent’s also is characterized by a bravura technique and vigorous but controlled brush- work. Sargent’s style has an international flavor, as seen by the model here who evokes a Mediterranean setting, although her address is in Paris (see lower left corner). The dedication at the upper left is to Paul Poirson, Sargent’s landlord and patron, to whom the artist may have given the painting.

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