Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual Arts

First Advisor

Louisa Matthew




abroad, american, artistic, elite, ability


John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was an American painter who was born and spent the majority of his life living and working in Europe at the height of American activity abroad during the expatriate movement of the 1880’s. He found exceptional success in Paris’ demanding art world, and benefited from Europe’s artistic resources, such as the artists’ colonies and the ability to study from revered Old Masters while mixing with avant-garde Impressionists. He was an astute businessman who garner international recognition and fame by adapting his approach to representation and exhibition according to shifting artistic environments. He is best recognized for his prolific portraiture career, and for the lifelike and painterly style he used to capture the unique characteristics of his sitters. He was sought after by the elite of France, England, and America, and these portraits reflect the state and desires of elite society both at home and abroad.