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Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting


Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting Cover

ISBN13: 9780878467426
ISBN10: 0878467424
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the most celebrated painters of his day, John Singer Sargent defines for many the style, optimism and opulence of turn-of-the-century America. Among his renowned portraits, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit stands alongside Madame X and Lady Agnew of Lochnaw as one of Sargent's immortal images. This painting depicts four young sisters in the spacious foyer of the family's Paris apartment, strangely dispersed across the murky tones and depths of the square canvas, as though unrelated to one another, unsettled and unsettling to the eye. The Daughters both affirms and defies convention, flouting the boundaries between portrait and genre scene, formal composition and quick sketch or snapshot. Unveiled at the Paris Salon of 1883, it predated by just two years the scandal of Madame X and was itself characterized by one critic as four corners and a void; but Henry James came closer to the mark when he described the painter as a knock-down insolence of talent, for few of Sargent's works embody the epithet as well as The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. Drawing on numerous unpublished archival documents, scholar Erica E. Hirshler excavates all facets of this iconic canvas, discussing not only its significance as a work of art but also the figures and events involved in its making, its importance for Sargent's career, its place in the tradition of artistic patronage and the myriad factors that have contributed to its lasting popularity and relevance. The result is an aesthetic, philosophical and personal tour de force that will change the way you look at Sargent's work, and that both illuminates an iconic painting and reaffirms its pungent magnetism.

Book News Annotation:

One of the best-loved paintings in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the enormous canvas depicts the four daughters of an American family named Boit that Sargeant met in Paris in an unusual composition and style that harkens to the masterpiece Las Meninas by Velzquez. Hirschler (senior curator of paintings at the BMFA) has written a fascinating account of the painter and his subjects, describing Sargeant's life and career seamlessly with the story of the Boits and the creation of the painting. The small volume is well illustrated with color plates and many b&w images, including period photographs. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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mb8688, April 5, 2010 (view all comments by mb8688)
I have enjoyed this book until,to my utmost dismay,found it to be lacking pages 63 through 78!! I have emailed the publisher(MFA)but have not heard back..the pages are not torn out,just missing! So..it has since been an uneven read..whatever shall I do? it cost me over $30.00 afterall...
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Product Details

Hirshler, Erica
MFA Publications
Sargent, John Singer
Hirshler, Erica E.
Individual Artists - Monographs
American - General
Children in art
Sargent, John Singer
Publication Date:
7.60x5.80x.90 in. 1.05 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Individual Artists » Monographs

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