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Sargent and Italy Paperback – September 14, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0691139449 ISBN-10: 069113944X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (September 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069113944X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691139449
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,583,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This handsome volume explores, for the first time, the intimate link between American artist John Singer Sargent and Italy, the country of his birth. Born to American parents in 1856, Sargent traveled extensively throughout Europe. From childhood on, he was entranced with the Italian Renaissance, and, by age 12, he was sketching the artistic and scenic wonders of Italy, which became "the country he repeatedly returned to for inspiration and refreshment." Contrary to earlier studies that dismissed or minimized its influence, Robertson and his contributors view Italy as the foundation upon which Sargent built his magnificent oeuvre. In a series of groundbreaking essays, contributors explore the painter's early studies of Venetian scenes, his portraits and murals, landscapes and garden paintings, and what are referred to as his Alpine paintings. The book also details Sargent's relationships with such influential writers and artists as Henry James, Edith Wharton, and James Whistler. Extremely well written and filled with magnificent reproductions, this beautiful volume offers the first in-depth and original study of this great artist in many years. Lauren Roberts
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Sargent became one of the most international American artists of his day, shuttling around Italy, France, England, and the United States, but he knew Italy most intimately. . . . [He] hated the dull routine of society portraiture, and his Italian trips--painting peasants in Capri, Venetian bead stringers, Alpine brooks--refreshed him."--Katherine Zoepf, New York Times Book Review

"[Sargent's] synthesis of the classic and the contemporary plays with light and shadow to create a shimmering sensuality. . . . [He] seemed to revel in the freedom which watercolors provide, and it is tempting to see these later Italian works as a release of sorts from the murals and high-toned portraits. . . . [T]hese paintings, of gardens, quarries, cypresses, and of his family and friends on holiday, convey a powerful sense of that liberation."--Michael Carlson, Times Literary Supplement

"Extremely well written and filled with magnificent reproductions, this beautiful volume offers the first in-depth and original study of this great artist in many years."--Booklist

"Beautiful and informative. . . . Italy was extremely influential on Sargent's work, which makes this a significant addition to book son Sargent."--Library Journal

"With each new book on the ever-popular John Singer Sargent, readers learn more about the substantive complexities of an artist too often dismissed as simply a fashionable portraitist. The attraction of this appealing book . . . is the opportunity it affords for scholarly focus on a key aspect of Sargent's career."--Choice

"Sargent and Italy, a lavishly illustrated volume . . . reminds us that Italy is both a place and an idea. . . . The idea of Italy--a metaphor for excess, romance and seduction--has . . . been . . . important to artists, among them John Singer Sargent. . .. Sargent and Italy insists, convincingly, that Sargent's vision of Italy was ultimately his own."--Christopher Capozzola, The Art Book

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
SARGENT IN ITALY does what many catalogues set out to accomplish but few achieve - document a magnificent exhibition while creating an art history book of great substance. The catalogue for the travelling exhibition SARGENT AND ITALY mirrors the elegance of the painter's touch, the intense infatuation and observation of the painter's favorite places (Venice in particular), and the intellectual atmosphere in which all of these works were created. Everyone knows of John Singer Sargent's finesse with the portraits of the wealthy and with figure painting in the studio and out on location, but few have the knowledge that Sargent found just as much life and senusality in the landscape as he did in the beautifully gowned patronesses of his career. Author Robertson is careful to include the treasurable quotes from the works of Henry James and other writers which flank many of the paintings in the exhibition and in the book. James and Sargent were close friends and colleagues, and that quality of shared observation helps make this show and this book the successes they are. The only minor flaw in the book is the quality of color reproduction which tends toward the muddy, dim side - hardly what this painter of light was all about. But the paintngs here are in other volumes where they are not as graced with the written word as they are here. A fine exhibition and a very fine catalogue/book.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ordered unseen and then attended exhibit. I was dissatisfied with color prints before exhibit and really disappointed afterwards. A graphic artist friend refused to buy the book after seing the color reproductions
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just returned with a friend from the Sargent and Italy exhibit , and I had purchased this book before going and thought the repoductions lacked vibrancy and did little for me, and after seeing the exhibit my thoughts were confirmed and I was even more disappointed , and a friend of mine who is a retired graphic artist and attended the exhibit would not purchase the book based on the reproductions
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FO on November 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
for the content alone, this book is excellent. i lived a few blocks from the museum, so had the luxory to attend the exhibit during non peak hours maybe 7 or 8 times... wow. perhaps the most inspired I've ever been by another artist.

no, the reproductions are not perfect. but, i'd much rather have reproductions slightly on the green-side, than on the black side like most other books, where you cant *see* the content.
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