John Singer Sargent: His Portrait

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1986 Hardcover New 0312444567. BRAND NEW, TEXT PRISTINE, NEVER OPENED-309 pages. From Publishers Weekly: "Like a suave butler polishing the egos of his wealthy patrons and ... sitters, Sargent turned out 700 portraits varying greatly in quality, notes Olson. Tired of the tedium of portraiture, he longed to do still lifes and outdoor scenes but got sidetracked into painting huge, mediocre murals that mischanneled his talents. This startling, unconventional view of the chronicler of the Edwardian Age emerges from Olson's richly detailed, thoroughly researched biography. The son of a willful, hypochondriac mother and a taciturn, pessimistic father, Sargent became a workaholic, an outsider, a born observer eager for fame but let down by it. Henry James cleared a path for Sargent to settle in London when he tired of Paris, and the painter's friend Monet taught him to work outdoors on a 'floating studio, ' but through it all Sargent remained strangely elusive, a loner, unfulfilled in his role. Olson (Elinor Wylie: Read more Show Less

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1986 Hardcover New 0312444567. FLAWLESS COPY, BRAND NEW, PRISTINE, NEVER OPENED-309 pages. "Like a suave butler polishing the egos of his wealthy patrons and sitters, Sargent ... turned out 700 portraits varying greatly in quality, notes Olson. Tired of the tedium of portraiture, he longed to do still lifes and outdoor scenes but got sidetracked into painting huge, mediocre murals that mischanneled his talents. This startling, unconventional view of the chronicler of the Edwardian Age emerges from Olson's richly detailed, thoroughly researched biography. The son of a willful, hypochondriac mother and a taciturn, pessimistic father, Sargent became a workaholic, an outsider, a born observer eager for fame but let down by it. Henry James cleared a path for Sargent to settle in London when he tired of Paris, and the painter's friend Monet taught him to work outdoors on a "floating studio, " but through it all Sargent remained strangely elusive, a loner, unfulfilled in his role. Olson (Elinor Wylie: A Life Apart f Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
This exemplary biography is manifestly fascinating.
New York Times
Olson's prose is a rich, almost Jamesian affair, ferociously literate, archly elliptical.
San Francisco Chronicle
Stanley Olson has written a superb account.
Washington Times Magazine
John Singer Sargent is one heck of a good book. Read it.
Virginia Quarterly Review
This biography conveys vividly and with considerable charm and wit a sense of the social world of the distinguished American portrait painter.
United Press International
This biography rescues Sargent...from the shadows of his famous subjects.
From the Publisher
"[Olson has produced] an absorbing, detailed, comprehensive biography of this intriguing enigma of a man."—Library Journal

"Olson's prose is a rich, almost Jamesian affair, ferociously literate, archly elliptical."—the New York Times

"Stanley Olson has written a superb account."—San Francisco Chronicle

"John Singer Sargent is one heck of a good book. Read it."—the Washington Times Magazine

"This biography conveys vividly and with considerable charm and wit a sense of the social world of the distinguished American portrait painter."—the Virginia Quarterly Review

"This biography rescues Sargent . . . from the shadows of his famous subjects."—United Press International

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312444563
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1986
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
  • Edition number: 30
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Stanley Olson, like Sargent, was an American expatriate. Born in 1947, in Ohio, he lived in London from 1969 until his untimely death, from a stroke, in 1989. Scholar, writer, dandy, aesthete, gourmet, and impeccable host, he was a much-loved and admired member of London's literary world. He authored Elinor Wylie: A Life Apart and edited the abridged Harold Nicolson: Diaries & Letters 1930-1964.

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