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Madame Ramon Subercaseaux (1880) Sargent is perhaps best known for his ravishing pictures of society women in pictures which flatter both their looks and their taste. Although the focus of this exhibition is elsewhere, on pictures of friends and acquaintances, the exhibition opens with this stunning portrait of the wife of a Chilean diplomat and artist. This picture was an important part of making his early reputation in Paris. It is perhaps Sargent at his best, a compelling portrait of late C19 beauty. Madame Ramon Subercaseaux (1880)
Sargent is perhaps best known for his ravishing pictures of society women; pictures which flattered both their looks and their taste. Although the focus of this exhibition is elsewhere, on pictures of friends and acquaintances, the exhibition opens with this stunning portrait of the wife of a Chilean diplomat and artist. This picture was an important part of making his early reputation in Paris. It is perhaps Sargent at his best, a compelling portrait of late C19 beauty.

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was the ultimate Europeanised American. He was born in Florence of expatriate Americans and brought to a culturally rich but lonely and nomadic childhood, travelling extensively throughout Europe and reliant for companionship largely on his sister Emily. But lonely or not he developed a deep love and understanding of European culture and a strong desire to become an artist; a desire which his parents…

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