John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925) was a leading portrait painter of his time. Although his parents were US citizens, they left the country a few years before John was born. John was a nomadic expatriate for much of his life. His family resided in Paris but frequently traveled throughout Europe. Through the influence of his artistically talented parents, and studies at both the Academy of Florence and École des Beaux-Arts, as well as private training with several artists in Paris, John's talents as a painter were developed. His early subject matters were landscapes; however he was influenced by his mentor, Carolus-Duran, to do portraits. Of the more than 900 oil paintings, and 2000 watercolors, our collection of patterns contains a subset of 47 well known works. These include: Spanish Dancer, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, Frederick Law Olmsted, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, Morning Walk, Theodore Roosevelt, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, Robert Louis Stevenson, and John D. Rockerfeller.

Patterns Included In This Set:


Self Portrait

Paul Helleu Sketching with his Wife

The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit


Spanish Dancer

Portrait of Frederick Law Olmsted

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw


Gondoliers' Siesta

Morning Walk

Theodore Roosevelt


Arsène Vigeant

The Sulphur Match

Madame X


Two Girls Lying on the Grass

The Right Honourable Earl Curzon of Kedleston

John D. Rockerfeller


Winifred Duchess of Portland

The Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain



Artist in the Simplon

Mrs. Joshua Montgomery Sears

In a Hayloft


In a Medici Villa


Painting at the Edge of a Wood


Carnation Lily Lily Rose

El Jaleo

Idle Sails


Robert Louis Stevenson and His Wife

Miss Eliza Wedgewood

Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi at Home


Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler

Fumée d'Ambris Gris

Mrs. Hugh Hammersley


Miss Ellen Terry as Lady MacBeth

Nude Egyptian Girl

Lord Ribblesdale


Venetian Interior

Madame Paul Poirson

Miss Frances Sherburn Ridley Watts


A Street in Venice

Jacques-Emile Blanche

Portrait of Vernon Lee


Portrait of Caspar Goodrich

Carmela Bertagna

A Boating Party


Portrait of Miss Dorothy Vickers

Miss Cara Burch

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John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 - April 14, 1925) was an American artist and one of the most celebrated portrait painters of his time. He produced some 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors in addition to countless charcoal drawings and other sketches.

Sargent was born in Florence, Italy to expatriate American parents. His father, a doctor and his mother, Mary Singer-Sargent, had decided to leave the United States after the death of Sargent's older sister who was two when she died. They never returned to America. Sargent had five brothers and sisters-all born in Europe-only three of whom survived to be adults. Although the Singer-Sargent children were raised in a nomadic lifestyle, traveling across Europe, their parents brought them up as Americans and Sargent himself went to the United States before he was 21 in order to retain his American citizenship.

Mary Singer Sargent eschewed formal tuition for her children. She believed that travels and visits to museums would be enough to give her son a good education. When Sargent was thirteen, his mother paid for private lessons in watercolors from a German landscape painter. He also attended art school in Florence and in Rome for short periods, but his studies were always disrupted by his family's itinerant lifestyle. Yet, despite the lack of any kind of formal education, the young Sargent turned out to be sophisticated, cosmopolitan and highly literate. He spoke English, German, French and Italian fluently, and was an accomplished artist and musician.

In 1874 John Singer Sargent was accepted to study art at the Paris studio of Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran, a popular French portrait painter. A year later, he was accepted at the Ecole des Beaux Arts to study anatomy and perspective. He also made a trip to Spain to study the works of Velazquez, whom he greatly admired and visited Venice where he made numerous sketches.

Carolus-Duran was bold and modern, and he had a profound influence on the young Sargent who was his star pupil. Sargent was interested in landscape painting, but Carolus-Duran convinced him that portraiture was the fast track to acceptance and to the annual Salon. Sargent's first major portrait was accepted at the Salon in 1877 at the age of just 21.

Two years later Sargent submitted a portrait of his mentor, Carolus-Duran, to the Salon. That painting too was accepted and widely acclaimed, and it opened the door to important commissions. Sargent began to mix with key figures of the contemporary art scene, such as Monet, Degas and Rodin.

The critics loved Sargent and fell over themselves to give him positive exposure, but at the 1884 Paris Salon Sargent exhibited his Portrait of Madame X. Today, this fine portrait is considered as one of his best, but at the time the painting shocked viewers; the lady's bare shoulders and disdainful demeanor led the public to proclaim the work provocative. The critics hated it. The rejection and ensuing scandal prompted Sargent to leave Paris in 1886 and settle in London. Eventually, Sargent sold the Portrait of Madame X to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In London, Sargent soon established himself as the country's leading portrait painter. In 1887, just one year after moving from Paris, he had his first success at the Royal Academy with Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose, a large painting of two young girls lighting lanterns in an English garden. The painting, which had been painted on site, was bought on the spot by the Tate Gallery.

Sargent then traveled to the United States, visiting New York and Boston. He received no less than twenty important commissions to paint the portraits of society ladies, business tycoons and art patrons. He also had his first one-man show in Boston where he exhibited 22 of his works. He made several subsequent trips to the USA during the 1890s and early 1900s and produced murals for the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as painting the portraits of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

Back in London, the commissions and the honors poured in. In 1894 Sargent became an associate of the Royal Academy and in 1897 he became a full member. Throughout the 1890s his output was prolific. One of his most notable and popular portraits of this period is the beautiful Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, painted in 1892.

By 1900 Sargent was the most celebrated society portrait painter of his day, despite being only in his early forties. He had already painted more than five hundred portraits and his patrons were the wealthy, the aristocracy and fashionable society. Yet despite this success, Sargent tired of portrait painting. In 1907 he closed his studio, abandoned his lucrative commissions and went back to his original love: landscape painting. He traveled across Europe and made trips to the United States, producing over 1,000 oils and watercolors of his journeys.

John Singer Sargent died in London in 1925 at the age of sixty nine. He had been due to travel to Boston the next day.

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