Henry Sargent was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts and became known for his portrait and genre painting as well as mechanical innovations he developed during his lifetime.
James’ aesthetic creed of a humanist and reduced environment for cognition is fully thematized here through Sargent’s painting, emphasizing its capacity for disjunctive experience despite disjunctures that exist at its core.
Early Life and Education
Due to his family’s nomadic lifestyle, Sargent received only limited formal education. While tutoring could include languages, history and mathematics; his mother who hoped he would follow her into painting was his primary instructor.
The Sargents spent much of their time exploring Europe in search of plants and observing garden designs. Additionally, they contributed articles to publications like Horticulturist for publication.
Sargent’s paintings and watercolors reflect his broad interest in life around him. He was an acute observer of social events and close friend of writer Henry James for many years; there has even been speculation of sexual orientation in some of his work (particularly male nudes ). Sargent absorbed from Old Masters such as Anthony Van Dyck and Diego Velazquez the very best formal compositional development techniques to incorporate into his compositional development techniques.
Sargent was an award-winning painter of genre and portrait paintings that ranged from realistic to impressionist in style. His talents also extended to his rendering of textures and accessories – some of his finest works include his conversation pieces The Tea Party and The Dinner Party at Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFAB).
Sargent traveled to Europe in 1793 and studied with Benjamin West before being welcomed with open arms by John Singleton Copley at his studio. Sargent’s experience there made him keenly aware of Bostonians’ disdain for arts.
In 1861, Sargent joined the national army. After only briefly serving, he entered Dartmouth College where he graduated in 1865 and later worked as an engineer on railroads alongside George Russell Shaw for some time.
Achievement and Honors
Henry Sargent was an esteemed artist, receiving many prestigious awards and accolades for his works of art. Known for both America and Europe alike, his paintings exemplified his signature style and technique that made him so sought-after among artists of his era – making an important mark on American art itself.
In his later years, he turned to murals as an artistic outlet. Charcoal drawings from his mural work at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston reveal all of the meticulous planning that went into these large-scale decorations.
Sargent was also close with writer Henry James and was greatly influenced by his writings as an observer of society. Boston honored Sargent by naming a street after him, and numerous honorary degrees were bestowed upon him as well.
Henry married Charlotte Honeybone in 1869. Together they had two children and five grandchildren. Henry Sargent worked as a journalist and bibliographer for over 40 years for the Boston Evening Transcript newspaper; for many of those years he wrote the Wednesday Rare Book Column.
Max Beerbohm’s caricature of Sargent painting the portrait of Madame X (1884) by Max Beerbohm lampoons this aspect of his style by depicting him like an actor rushing towards his canvas with brushes in hand.
He traveled extensively for inspiration for his landscape painting. For example, during a trip to Brittany in 1877 he completed Oyster Gatherers of Cancale as part of the Barbizon tradition; and Tangier provided ample opportunities for variations on an Orientalist theme with pieces like El Jaleo and Fumee d’ambre gris.
He earned an estimated net worth of around $79 Million during his lifetime by being a professional painter.
Sargent’s bold move was to depict nude male models alongside his striking portraits of women; such subjects challenged notions of gender norms at the time.
Sargent believed that acting should be taken more seriously, rather than reduced to vaudevillian acts and clownish portrayals. He wanted to open a school teaching the art of human expression and equipping actors for performance onstage. His efforts proved fruitful as his work was appreciated worldwide and served as an inspiration for other artists.