Studio: international art — 19.1900

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John S. Sargent, R.A.

HE ART OF JOHN S. SARGENT, which is the dominant attribute of his nature.
RA PART II BY A. L. Tne receptivity which has from the first distin-
guished him is of a kind that feeds upon its
surroundings, and reflects the actuality of existing
Although it is as a portrait painter that things rather than those mental abstractions that
people know Mr. Sargent best, he is certainly not imply the working of a process of digestion in the
to be regarded as an artist who limits himself solely artist's mind. To ruminate, and chew over and
to one method of practice. It is easy to understand over again the material he gathered until it assumed
why portraiture should have appealed to him as a character quite unlike what it possessed when he
the most engrossing occupation for his artistic first commenced operations upon it, has never been
capacities, and as the particular direction in which his habit; such deliberate transformations have at
he could satisfy best his inclinations towards no time formed part of his scheme of practice,
technical assertion. In the representation of Nature as he sees it has always sufficed for him,
modern types of personality, in the treatment of and though he does not limit himself to the merely
present-day costume, and in the expression of the superficial view he does not set himself to pervert
distinctive atmosphere that surrounds the life of facts by mixing with them a host of incongruous
our own times, he found a peculiar satisfaction for conventions.

that instinct for close and detailed observation If a comparison is made between Velasquez and

Mr. Sargent, a good idea may
be obtained of the extent to
which the modern painter
may profit by the example
of the men who have gone
before him. The closeness
of the alliance that links
together the old Spaniard
and the new American can-
not be disputed, and yet it
has not led to a mere imita-
tion in the nineteenth
century of what was done in
the fifteenth. Mr. Sargent is
not less himself because he
has been to Spain and has
spent many adoring hours
in the galleries of the Prado ;
and he has not sunk the
preferences that come natu-
rally from living associations
in a futile effort to recon-
struct habits of thought and
practice, which were part of
the existence of the dweller
in another country and
another age. But he has, all
the same, picked out of a
strongly personal art what
there is in it of permanent
value. He has studied it so
closely, that the separation
of its vital principles from its
local and temporary attributes
has been practicable, so
a stu„y by j. s, sargent, r.a. thoughtfully that he has

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