Locating cosmopolitanism within a Trans-Atlantic interpretive frame: the critical evaluation of John Singer Sargent’s portraits and figure studies in Britain and the United States from c.1886–1926.

Article


Stephenson, A. 2017. Locating cosmopolitanism within a Trans-Atlantic interpretive frame: the critical evaluation of John Singer Sargent’s portraits and figure studies in Britain and the United States from c.1886–1926. Tate Papers. 27, p. In Press.
AuthorsStephenson, A.
Abstract

This article examines how questions about John Singer Sargent’s American nationality, his Anglo-American expatriate experience and his works cosmopolitanism were evaluated differently by British and American art writers in relation to his portraits and figure paintings in the period from c.1886–1926. Born in Florence to expatriate American parents, American by nationality, trained in Paris, largely resident in London and working successfully in an expanding trans-Atlantic art economy encompassing London, Paris, Boston and New York, Sargent was revered as the archetypal ‘cosmopolitan’ artist. Yet in spite of his technical brilliance, professional success, the high prices paid for his work by private collectors and museums, and the publication of many complimentary critical evaluations and memorial essays, British and American art writers throughout his life and afterwards remained conflicted about the nature of Sargent’s cosmopolitan sensibility, and they openly disputed claims for his positioning within British or American schools of modern art.

KeywordsJohn Singer Sargent; cosmopolitanism; portraiture; figure painting; aestheticism
JournalTate Papers
Journal citation27, p. In Press
ISSN1753-9854
Year2017
PublisherTate
Accepted author manuscript
License
Web address (URL)https://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/27/locating-cosmopolitanism
Publication dates
Online2017
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2016
Copyright informationTate Papers, Spring 2017 © Andrew Stephenson
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