John Singer Sargent dismissed his contemporaries’ sentimental approach to childhood as a period of lost innocence, and approached his youthful sitters directly, painting them naturalistically and with a keen, psychologically penetrating eye.
His many portraits of the young heirs of America’s upper class also helped to further the artist’s career, pleasing conservative critics and reassuring future patrons who might harbor some lingering doubts as to whether they wanted to submit themselves to Sargent’s forceful brushwork and bravura technique.
Sargent’s portrait of the young Homer Saint-Gaudens, the son of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Robert Shaw Memorial), and his mother Augusta, a cousin of Winslow Homer (The Veteran in a New Field), is an intimate portrait for a friend, not a commission that paid the bills.
The painting won a gold medal at the Art Club of Philadelphia the year it was painted and was one of the works Sargent chose to exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
For those students who were absent and others who would like more information on this painting as well as Sargent’s other works, go to the class
February 15, 2011 PowerPoint John Singer Sargent Portrait of a Boy, 1890
Have a great week. Mrs. S
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us.” Luke 1:78