Musée No:206.001Regular price $32.33
Smoke of Ambregris
Artist: John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent, 1856 - 1925, was an American expatriate artist considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He painted nearly a thousand oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolours, as well as sketches and charcoal drawings. His works show worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.
Sargent's early enthusiasm was for landscapes, as shown by his numerous sketches of mountains, seascapes, and buildings. In 1879 he was a part of Carolus-Duran’s atelier in Paris where he painted a portrait of his teacher to much acclaim. Carolus-Duran's expertise in portraiture finally influenced Sargent in that direction. His best portraits reveal the individuality and personality of the sitters; his most ardent admirers think he is matched in this only by Velázquez.
The Sitter : This painting was started in Tangier, Morocco, with a model posed on the patio of a rented house, and finished in his Paris studio. She is holding her clothing over the silver burner to smell the perfumed smoking ambergris. Ambergris was used in some religious rituals and was also said to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Image courtesy Clark Art Institute. clarkart.edu