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John Singer Sargent: Volume 1: The Early Portraits; the Complete Paintings: Early Portraits Vol 1 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) Hardcover – 13 Mar 1998


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John Singer Sargent: Volume 1: The Early Portraits; the Complete Paintings: Early Portraits Vol 1 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) + John Singer Sargent: v. 2: Portraits of the 1890s; Complete Paintings: Portraits of the 1890s Vol 2 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) + John Singer Sargent: The Later Portraits Volume 3: The Complete Paintings: Late Portraits v. 3 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (13 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300072457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300072457
  • Product Dimensions: 32.2 x 26.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It would be extravagant to see in the miscellany of Sargent's juvenile sketchbooks - the sketches of landscapes and animals, the architectural details and classical copies — the seeds of a substantial talent, hut the expressive liveliness of some of the portrait and figure studies stand out as something a little beyond the ordinary. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pj4mes on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a portrait painter, and have been a huge admirer of Sargent ever since I visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in year 2000, and was knocked sideways by the stunning portrait of the 'Daughters of Edward Darley Boit'. I bought from that gallery the book titled 'John Singer Sargent' (ISBN-10: 069100434X) also by Kilmurray and Ormond, also first published I believe in 1998. This book is an excellent general synopsis of Sargent's work. My enthusiasm for Sargent has not diminished and so I recently decided to start collecting the Kilmurray-Ormond 'Complete paintings' series. I have just received Volume 1 Early Portraits and was expecting from it great things indeed.

Does it deliver? Yes and no. Yes in that it is a comprehensive catalogue of all his portraits of that era, supported by great essays, and as such I'm thrilled to have it. The quality of the reproductions is good BUT.... having compared the quality of the reproductions between the new book, and the one I bought in 2000, I have to conclude that the quality of the reproductions is, in my opinion, noticeably superior in the Kilmurray-Ormand book I bought in Boston. I find the images in that book to be crisper, more contrasty and the colours punchier and a more accurate representation of the many Sargent paintings I've seen in the flesh.

Conclusion: This is a fabulous book, and I would give it 5 stars were it not for the fact that I know the reproductions could be better. I probably will buy the other two portrait volumes in this series, as a portrait painter they will be a hugely valuable resource. However if I was asked which was THE Sargent book to own, I would have to conclude (if you can still get it) that 'John Singer Sargent' by Kilmurray and Ormond 1998, would be the one to go for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
This was the finest quality art book we have seen in a long time! The reproductions are excellent. It is obvious that much care and consideration went into the production of this book. The 'stories' that caption each image are in depth and enthralling, pulling information from obscure resources and contemporary letters and diary entries. The sitters' personalities are really brought to life.
We would have been willing to pay much more for a book of this quality and scope. This has been our best art purchase in years! We are eagerly awaiting the publication of volume two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book to treasure. Gorgeous, high quality colour images with detailed information on the various sitters.
The portraits speak for themselves.
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By S. Ramsey-Hardy on 6 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
These volumes from Yale provide spectacular witness to the astonishing art of J.S.Sargent, and Volume 1 has the unforgettable profile of 'Madame X' on the cover. Nearly all the illustrations in these volumes are superbly printed. It is sometimes unnerving to look at the portraits in these books: Sargent's observation of, and sensitivity to the most subtle nuances of human personality is extraordinary; one almost feels like an intruder into a very private world, these pictures are a place where only trusted friends meet, and only the most truthful feelings are expressed.

As for Sargent's technique, 'miraculous' is sometimes the only word that will do, and observing his virtuoso brushwork sends shivers down the spine: the thrill of it!

Is there any possibility of a volume which gathers as many as possible of Sargent's masterly charcoal portrait drawings? They fully deserve the kind of serious attention given here, in these magnificent books on his other work. Long Live Sargent!
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