In the early work of John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), Henry James saw “the slightly ‘uncanny’ spectacle of a talent which on the threshold of its career has nothing more to learn.” Sargent’s talent, nay, genius was indeed uncanny, sustained with equal intensity through his famed society portraits, like the scandalous Madame X; his full-size showpieces, like The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit; his thousands of watercolors executed en plein air from Venice to Corfu to Maine to Montana; and his ambitious mural decorations for the public monuments of Boston.
In Carter Ratcliff, Sargent has found a biographer and critic nearly his match in style and subtlety. Ratcliff expertly evokes the expatriate American milieu into which the artist was born, and offers penetrating insights into every phase of his career, every aspect of his work. Now, for the first time, this landmark monograph is offered in a special oversize format, with all of its 310 illustrations reproduced in stunning full color, many at full-page size, allowing the reader to appreciate the master’s every brushstroke.
This new edition of John Singer Sargent will be a treasured reference for artists and an unalloyed delight for art lovers.
About the author: Carter Ratcliff is a poet, art critic, and contributing editor of Art in America. His books on art include The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art; Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art; and monographs on Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gilbert & George, and others. He has also published numerous volumes of poetry and a novel, Tequila Mockingbird.