Monday, September 20, 2010

American Artist John Singer Sargent's (1856-1925) Elegant Ladies with Japonisme Fans

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Summer is nearly over. It is surely time to share these portraits of elegant ladies holding fans dressed in luminous summer dresses.

The painter of these images of well-to-do women holding fans influenced by the Japonisme style, John Singer Sargent, was one of the American artists who went to study in Paris. Sargent did not paint many trendy compositions, but his fans fit into part of the Asian influence of the late 19th century.

Sargent went to study in Paris, because it was the place to be for any serious art student who could afford to travel there. After the American Civil War, Paris was a bustling cosmopolitan city & the capital of the western art world. Art students went to Paris to enroll in one of the many art schools there, seeking to polish their academic education. More established artists used Paris as a proving ground, leveraging exhibiting in its important international exhibitions to establish their artistic reputations.

A few made Paris their home, becoming part of a significant American expatriate community in the French capital. As the novelist Henry James reported of the "irresistible city" in an 1887 article, "it sounds like a paradox, but it is a very simple truth, that when today we look for American art we find it mainly in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a good deal of Paris in it."

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Etta Durham

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Ian Hamilton (Jean Muir)

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Joseph Chamberlain

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Thomas Wodehouse Legh

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Hamilton McKown Twombly (Florence Adele Vanderbilt)

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Cecil Wade

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Countess Clary Aldringen Threse Kinsky

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Mahlon Day Sands (Mary Hartpeace)

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Ada Rehan

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Frederick Barnard

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs Henry White

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Mrs William Playfair
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