Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Sargent's Study of the Marlborough Family


John Singer Sargent did a pencil study (right) of a group portrait of the Duke of Marlborough and his Family by Joshua Reynolds (left). 


Sargent's study seems to concentrate on the shapes of big light tones set within the large dark shapes.

He drew on the memory of this composition when he painted his own group portrait of the Marlborough Family.

6 comments:

Sheridan said...

I know that this comment is not to the point of your post. The Sargent painting is well done in all aspects of technical ability except in the depiction of human anatomy. This often seems a problem with Sargent's work, and I am guessing that pressure was put on him to make people look better, more graceful than they would in real life. I would love to see a photo of them to see how it would compare to the painting. The mom and dad look as though they could have been the tallest centers in any NBA team. In addition, I have never seen a person with a neck as long , or longer, than their face. These obvious descrepancies make an otherwise good painting comical.
All of us can always learn more about art, but it is also possible that even great artists may have picked up a few bad habits.

widdly said...

I wonder if the long necks and tall figures a trick used in large paintings where the viewer will be looking up at them?

Sascha Karschner said...

Hi widdly ... in Sargents defense ... the neck of the Duchess of Marlboro was super long, here is a photo pf her:

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/54196767e4b07990c7fd667e/1428585900055-JHML3F877WL466F90WDF/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kNNOvrobNwDPXl-gQBHfmaxZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWEtT5uBSRWt4vQZAgTJucoTqqXjS3CfNDSuuf31e0tVH0E6HIMBVaXG7xtXwNJAIfXpaF5hSTR_ZF03xZlmiz81tO8nJtk629tZGIWiyY3XQ/image-asset.png

Sascha Karschner said...

Hi widdly ... in Sargents defense ... the neck of the Duchess of Marlboro was super long, here is a photo pf her:

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/54196767e4b07990c7fd667e/1428585900055-JHML3F877WL466F90WDF/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kNNOvrobNwDPXl-gQBHfmaxZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWEtT5uBSRWt4vQZAgTJucoTqqXjS3CfNDSuuf31e0tVH0E6HIMBVaXG7xtXwNJAIfXpaF5hSTR_ZF03xZlmiz81tO8nJtk629tZGIWiyY3XQ/image-asset.png

James Gurney said...

Sascha, wow, thanks for that photo. It reminds me of the photos of the 'Giraffe Women' of the Kayan tribe in Thailand.

ino said...

Hello
also in Sargent’s defense, I think he, out of all people, understood the importance of specificity in drawing & painting. That is very apparent in his pencil sketches & watercolor paintings. The way he describe so much with so few lines in incredible. His stuff might be “loose” and look blurry, but still above all, specific and precise.