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John Singer
                          Sargent Virtual Gallery

Welcome to the 
John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery

When I first ran into a painting of Sargent's, I was drawn to it almost immediately. It was a visceral experience with a power to his art that was just so inexpressibly captivating. What surprised me most, was not so much the profound affection by which people who know his work well hold him up so dearly, but at how much of a secret he remained to the vast general public. In the body of art history, Sargent seemed to have fallen between the cracks.

That has changed a lot recently. Since the time I began my own very personal exploration of Sargent life and art, there has been a virtual explosion of interest, particularly in America. Scores of books have been written and  major exhibits have been shown of Sargent's work. 

With us now firmly into the twenty-first century, many are looking back to the Gilded Age, the Edwardian period and La Belle Époque with renewed interest. There is a hunger to understand our roots and (in the case of many Americans) how we blossomed as a nation; along with how we all emerged into this new modern society. Many artists of that period (especially those founded in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts) were cosmopolitan in their vision, drawing from a wealth of Western culture -- the Renaissance and Classical arts as well as influences from Japan and the far east. There was a burgeoning new renaissance taking place in the still young United States. John Singer Sargent was part of that new renaissance which embraced that cosmopolitan feel. In fact, he championed it in the best sense of the word.

During the Edwardian period, Sargent was at the epicenter of some of the most interesting artists of the time and were often the subjects of many of his paintings. To really understand Sargent is to understand this whole wealth of Western culture. How this whole movement in art came about is a fascinating story.

Welcome to the John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery. I'm Natasha Wallace and I'm the director. What you will see here is the culmination of over eight years of work. What the gallery represents, I feel, is a totally new way to learn about art and embodies some of the stunning possibilities of bringing a whole community of people together from around the globe. This is not just the work of one (although there is that) but a group of many people who would never have found each other were it not for the internet. You are about to enter, not just the world of Sargent as I see it, but the way they see his world as well. This is a gallery made by the people, and for the people.

If you know nothing about John Singer Sargent, then you’re in for a real treat. The structure of the gallery is organized like someone might absorb a book. For example, this might be the preface. From here you might glance at the inside jacket to get a brief look at the Biography of the man.  Then a person might skim through the pages to get an idea of what's to come; or in this case, take a look at his Major Paintings. There's only two pages of these with thumbnails. If you happen to find something that tweaks your interest, just take the link to a fuller image along with a pretty extensive essay, in most cases, so you can delve as deeply as you want -- just as you might with your book.

The heart of the Gallery is really the Chronology Thumbnail pages. Here, I have outlined his entire life, year by year. Each year you'll see the corresponding thumbnail images of the  paintings he did that year (that are available to see online) along with a very brief review of what he was doing, where he was going, who he knew and when. There are 32 pages of these spanning six decades. Each painting has a link to a fuller image – in many cases -- a direct link to the museum where it's hanging (and you can even touch the painting in this gallery -- so stumble around all you want). There are additional essays and other featured artists in and around Sargent's life that branch off at various points of interest. 

If you are a frequent visitor, remember to check my What’s New page – I add to it . . .  Oh I don’t know, a few times a month.

Along with the gallery are some helpful resources. If you are a scholar of Sargent, you'll love the Catalogue which was developed for the web (in part) by the Pragmatic Romanticist. And If you spend any amount of time here, you'll learn he has contributed greatly to this Gallery and even has put together THE best overview of the past Retrospective Exhibition that was held not too long ago, but I'm digressing. The Catalogue of Oils is the most complete listing of Sargent’s paintings available to the public. Published in 1955, it's admittedly a little dated, but it's a big help.

The part that I sort of enjoy the most is the Forum Section. This is where I get to hear from other people besides me. Here,  people ask a question or add to the collective dialogue, and this is what makes the Virtual Gallery much more of a community of people. I personally have drawn a lot of inspiration from other's insights and encouragement. You can also learn about my own personal motivation, if you feel so inclined in one of the interviews I did, or hear about other peoples love of Sargent's work and why. The Forum is also a great place for some serious scholarly inquiries. 

And if that wasn't enough, how about some of the best links to art on the net.

So hey, if you like the Gallery and your time here, why don’t you tell a friend.  I always enjoy hearing from people about what they thought, so drop me a line -- I'd be tickled to death to hear from you. If you're interested in who the contributing members of this gallery are, I invite you to see a list of the people who's help has made this all possible for you, and all for free. If you'd like to help, I invite you to join us.

Well, I better let you get going. You --my friend -- have a lot of surfing ahead of you, and you might need a few days to do it all in. Did you pack some water and food?

Enjoy, and all my best,

Natasha Wallace
John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery


            Sinegr Sargent Virtual Gallery
By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2005 all rights reserved
Updated 12/21/2013

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