John Singer SARGENT

Florence 1856 - London 1925


Born in Italy, the son of expatriate Americans, John Singer Sargent received his artistic training in Paris. He travelled widely throughout France, Italy and Spain, and became established as the leading portrait painter working in England and America in the latter part of the 19th century. Sargent settled in London in 1886, although he continued to make regular trips to the Continent, often in the company of his younger sisters Emily and Violet, and also to New York and Boston. In 1894 he was elected an Associate member of the Royal Academy in London, becoming a full Academician three years later. Although he was arguably Sargent was the most fashionable portrait painter in England and America by the end of the 19th century, he chose to abandon commissioned portraiture in 1907, working instead on landscapes and mural projects as well as working as a war artist during the First World War. This resulted in a monumental canvas of soldiers injured by poison gas, completed in 1919 and today in the Imperial War Museum in London.