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Portrait of Carolus-Duran

Portrait of Carolus-Duran

John Singer Sargent
American (1856-1925)
Oil on canvas

The inscription at the top of this painting says, in French, "To my dear Master Monsieur Carolus-Duran, his devoted servant, John S. Sargent, 1879." Sargent began working in Carolus-Duran's Paris studio in 1874 and rapidly became one of the master's best students. The traditional training provided at the École des Beaux-Arts stressed the importance of drawing as the basis of the visual arts. Carolus-Duran, by contrast, emphasized the importance of being able to manipulate paint in a fluid and sensuous manner, a skill that Sargent mastered very quickly. The informal pose, the freely painted hands and frilly shirt cuffs, and the light shining in the sitter's eyes all contribute to a sense of lively self-confidence in this virtuoso portrait.

Audio: Curator's Voice [from Acoustiguide Tour] #105

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