John Singer Sargent: Portraits and Models
The expatriate American artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was a prolific draftsman throughout his long, industrious career. His drawings encompassed virtually every category of artistic subject matter including allegory, history and still life, in addition to his renowned portraiture. The drawings served a variety of functions - Sargent learned by copying old master paintings, by sketching from nature and, as evidenced in this exhibition, and by studying the human figure from live models. Many of Sargent’s drawings remained in the artist’s collection at the time of his sudden death in 1925. After the memorial exhibitions of the 1920s, his family decided to donate a number of works to museums and institutions that were dedicated to education. Through the generosity of Miss Emily Sargent and Mrs. Violet Sargent Ormond, the Corcoran Gallery of Art possesses more than 100 drawings spanning the artist’s entire working career. This survey, drawn from the Corcoran’s rich collection of Sargent material, offered an insight into both the familiar public face of the celebrated portraitist and the more private aspects of the artist in the studio.