John Singer Sargent: brilliant painter of a glittering age, introducing Edwardian High Society to itself in paintings which made his sitters aware for the first time of the full extent of their own riches and glamour. This lecture explores the achievements of this remarkable and multi-talented painter.
Born American, growing up all over Europe and trained in Paris, Sargent finally made his home and his career in England without ever entirely losing his keen outsider’s eye for the whims of the society he celebrated. And when that society fell apart on the battlefields of France and Flanders he was still there, his images of gassed soldiers and the generals who commanded them to death and glory as sharp and resonant as ever. Then there are his landscapes: vibrant images of sunlight and shadow, conveying the sheer exhilaration of seeing with an airy splendour which challenges comparison with the work of the Impressionist friends of his Parisian youth. While on the walls of the Boston Museum of Art and Harvard University his murals reveal a talent as apt for the organisation of large-scale dramas as the intimacy of individual faces. This lecture explores the achievements of this remarkable and multi-talented painter.
Justine Hopkins is a freelance writer and lecturer in Art History, specialising in art of the 19th and 20th centuries, with an MA from the Courtauld Institute and a PhD from Birkbeck College. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum and has worked for Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the National Gallery, as well as the Arts Society and various universities.
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