John Singer Sargent

American painter (1856–1925)

John Singer Sargent (12 January 185614 April 1925) was the most successful portrait painter of his era, as well as a gifted landscape painter and watercolorist. He was an American expatriate who lived most of his life in Europe.

I never judge, only chronicle.


  • The habit of breaking up one's colour to make it brilliant dates from further back than ImpressionismCouture advocates it in a little book called 'Causeries d'Atelier' written about 1860—it is part of the technique of Impressionism but used for quite a different reason.
    • In: K.C. Charteris John Sargent, C. Scribener's Sons, 1927, p.125
  • Impressionism was the name given to a certain form of observation when Monet, not content with using his eyes to see what things were or what they looked like as everybody had done before him, turned his attention to noting what took place on his own retina (as an oculist would test his own vision).
  • Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
    • Quoted in Bentley and Esar, Treasury of Humorous Quotations (1951)
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