John Singer Sargent

This ex-patriot artist has always fascinated me.  His mastery of portraiture is famous.  Yet, when you read about his life, he seems to have been a quite a character. He dressed himself as if he were creating a painting, live with (or off of) the rich and famous as he painted their family's portraits.  Yet it cannot be denied that he was a genius at expressing textures and light in in the mediums of watercolor and oils.  

Sargent, wanting to capture the lighting at dusk, worked on this painting over a period of weeks. Near the end of the work, he was using potted flowers because the real ones were past their prime.
After showing at the 1879 Salon in Paris, many of Sargent's commissions were for children's portraits. Before the widespread use of the camera, wealthy parents captured the images of their children by hiring artist's to paint them.
The use of color and brushstokes on the flowers and on the little girl's dress show how Sargent was able to use paint to express real texture and light.
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