John Singer Sargent was not Monet and he certainly was not Van Gogh. He doesn’t fit comfortably into the standard story of painting and its “advances” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is neither of the avant-garde nor of the conservative reaction. He’s neither here nor there, neither fish nor fowl. Some would consider that an insult. But John Singer Sargent would, I think, have accepted the charge. He was happiest in the ambiguous places between things. His paintings continue to intrigue because that ambiguity is part of the nature of life. It doesn’t go away. It is real. And Sargent found a way to paint it.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor