John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal
Richard Ormond, Elaine Kilmurray
The Morgan Library & National Portrait Gallery, 2019
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. This volume presents over sixty superb portrait drawings, showcasing sitters famous for their roles in politics, society, and the arts. It also explores the friendships and the networks of patronage that underpinned Sargent’s practice as a portrait draftsman in Edwardian Britain and Progressive Era America.