John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal

Exhibition Website

Oct 4 2019 - Jan 12 2020

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was one of the greatest portrait artists of his time. While he is best known for his powerful paintings, he largely ceased painting portraits in 1907 and turned instead to charcoal drawings to satisfy portrait commissions. These drawn portraits represent a substantial, yet often overlooked, part of his practice, and they demonstrate the same sense of immediacy, psychological sensitivity, and mastery of chiaroscuro that animate Sargent’s sitters on canvas. 

The first major exhibition to explore the artist’s expressive portraits in charcoal, John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal will recognize the sheer scale of Sargent’s achievement as a portrait draftsman. Important international loans, from both public and private collections, will showcase Sargent’s sitters, many of them famous for their roles in politics, society, and the arts. 

The exhibition will also explore the friendships and the networks of patronage that underpinned Sargent’s practice as a portrait draftsman in Edwardian Britain and Progressive Era America.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

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