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Uncanny Spectacle the Public Career of the Young John Singer Sargent

by Richard Ormond

  • ISBN: 9780300071771
  • ISBN10: 0300071779

Uncanny Spectacle the Public Career of the Young John Singer Sargent

by Richard Ormond

  • List Price: $70.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 07/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780300071771
  • ISBN10: 0300071779
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Description: By the time John Singer Sargent turned thirty, years old in 1886, he already commanded an international reputation in the art world, creating a stream of works for exhibition that people eagerly awaited and discussed at length. Henry, James noted that Sargent's talent offered "the slightly 'uncanny' spectacle" of an artist on the threshold of his career who in fact had nothing more to learn. This book explores how the young American painter in just over a decade jumped from apprenticeship to wide acclaim, how he presented himself and his works, and how he sought to shape public perception of his talent. The book includes illustrations of every painting Sargent exhibited in Paris, London, and New York through 1887.

Drawing on the correspondence of the artist, his friends, and his family, as well as an extensive review of contemporary critical responses, the text examines these works of Sargent's early maturity -- some unseen in this century and others among his best-known works, including Smoke of Ambergris and Madame X. The authors contend that the canvases present a fresh view of Sargent's aspirations and ambitions, representing a metaphoric self-portrait of the artist as a young man. The early paintings, their relationship to one another, and their reception also shed light on the complex, cosmopolitan art world in which Sargent lived.

Uncanny Spectacle accompanies an exhibition of John Singer Sargent's early paintings that will open in June 1997 at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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