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John Singer Sargent Hardcover – September 1, 2001
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"Never before have Sargents talents been so gloriously displayed as they are here. Quite simply, this... is a stunner, a book as satisfyingly extravagant as a Sargent portrait." Christian Science Monitor
"John Singer Sargent by Carter Ratcliff is that rare beast, a truly lively, tangy biography of an artist, with layouts and reproductions that do the paintings proud." Newsday
"The spontaneity, elegance, and grace that characterize Sargents work are everywhere evident on these large, luminous pages. . . . A visual delight." Art and Antiques
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In my humble opinion, black and white should only be used in cases where the original is destroyed. I mean, come on. If you have paid for the rights and sent out a crew to 'private collections' to get the images, you know they have color versions. They do. They just don't seem to want to print them that way. Many of Sargent's works only come across in their full power in color. They seem bland and washed out in black and white.
This is not the stone age, so for this book which has almost 400 paintings, some of which are crammed 3 to a page - to have more than 100 of those in black and white is not only disappointing, it's inexcusable in this day and age. By contrast, the book 'The Society Portrait' by Gabriel Badea-Päun and Richard Ormond is roughly the same size, but it is 100% color and is actually LESS expensive. So the argument that black and white saves money is pretty flimsy. I think it must come down to laziness or just not caring. An even worse offender is the typical 'Catalogue Raisonne' - those have just about broken my heart and my wallet - as I learned very quickly, more expensive doesn't necessarily mean more color and larger pictures. That kind of art book is typically $300-$400 and 99% black and white. For academics only. So in light of that, I guess this book does ok. I am still disappointed, like another reviewer. Any books published after 1980 should have mostly if not all color images. Buy with caution.