tue 15/10/2019

Sargent and the Sea, Royal Academy | reviews, news & interviews

Sargent and the Sea, Royal Academy

Sargent and the Sea, Royal Academy

The great portraitist honed his craft on sea paintings

'Atlantic Storm', c 1876: 'Sargent's marine paintings depict the drama of the high seas, but there were other stormy waters ahead'

There’s a little-known side to the 19th-century American artist John Singer Sargent, and it is as far removed from the razzle-dazzle of his glittering career as a high-society portraitist as you can imagine. The artist who was famously described by Rodin as “the Van Dyck of our times” started his career emulating that great master of the seas, J M W Turner. He diligently honed his craft by painting dramatic seascapes, gentle coastlines and noble fishing folk. And if the 20-year-old Sargent couldn’t quite manage the roiling waves and lowering skies with quite the same level of brilliance as the English painter, he nonetheless possessed a quite remarkable artistic maturity. Turner, by contrast, couldn’t paint a convincing human figure for love nor money.

His paintings are denser, darker, more polished, in the Salon style, but with touches of the bravura brilliance that would seduce and dazzle in his later portraits

Share this article

Comments

Astonishing, breathtaking, timeless artwork!!!

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.