July 18: the oddness of Sargent

 

One remarkable aspect of the work of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is his astonishing range—soDr. Pozzi at Home 1881 great that you have to wonder where the essential Sargent is to be found. His portrait of Dr. Pozzi isn’t the most vulgar portrait in American art (that would be William Merrit Chase’s “Miss Dora Wheeler”) but it’s in contention.

"Miss Dora Wheeler"  Cleveland Museum of Art

“Miss Dora Wheeler” Cleveland Museum of Art

Gardner 1888 Monet painting 1885 Siesta 1904

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this from the artist who would paint the engaging “Isabella Stewart Gardner” (1888).

 

 

 

 

 

To say nothing of the brisk and decisive “Monet Painting” (1885), or “Siesta”, albeit twenty years later, in 1904.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post was stimulated by the New York Times review of “Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: nytimes.com/2015/07/03/arts/design/review-sargents-intimate-portraits-of-friends-at-the-metropolitan-museum.html?_r=0