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John Singer Sargent
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    (January 12, 1856-April 14, 1925)
    Born in Florence, Italy
    Leading portrait painter of the late-Victorian and Edwardian eras
    Notable paintings include 'The Daughters of Edward Darley Bolt' (1882), 'The Lady with the Rose' (1882), 'Portrait of Madame X' (1884), 'Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood' (1885), 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose' (1887), 'Lady Agnew of Lochnaw' (1892), 'Theodore Roosevelt' (1903) and 'Almina, Daughter of Asher Westheimer' (1908)
    His 'Portrait of Madame X' caused a scandal that forced him to leave France for England.
    British critics considered him an Impressionist while the French Impressionists considered him too old fashioned to be a member.
    James McNeill Whistler disapproved of his loose brushwork, describing it as 'smudge everywhere.'
    He closed his studio in 1907, saying 'Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.'
    He was fluent in English, French, Italian and German.
    Despite having little formal instruction, he passed the rigorous entrance exam for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on the first try.
    He was such a big name that some American clients would travel to London at their own expense to have him paint their portrait.
    He was rivaled only by Velazquez in his ability to reveal the personality of his sitter in a portrait.
    Andy Warhol said that Sargent 'made everybody look glamorous.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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