Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. Lucey

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Read Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas Online Free - In this seductive, multilayered biography, based on original letters and diaries, Donna M. Lucey illuminates four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny intuition, Sargent hinted at the mysteries and passions that unfolded in his subjects’ lives.

Elsie Palmer traveled between her father’s Rocky Mountain castle and the medieval English manor house where her mother took refuge, surrounded by artists, writers, and actors. Elsie hid labyrinthine passions, including her love for a man who would betray her. As the veiled Sally Fairchild—beautiful and commanding—emerged on Sargent’s canvas, the power of his artistry lured her sister, Lucia, into a Bohemian life. The saintly Elizabeth Chanler embarked on a surreptitious love affair with her best friend’s husband. And the iron-willed Isabella Stewart Gardner scandalized Boston society and became Sargent’s greatest patron and friend.

Like characters in an Edith Wharton novel, these women challenged society’s restrictions, risking public shame and ostracism. All had forbidden love affairs; Lucia bravely supported her family despite illness, while Elsie explored Spiritualism, defying her overbearing father. Finally, the headstrong Isabella outmaneuvered the richest plutocrats on the planet to create her own magnificent art museum.

These compelling stories of female courage connect our past with our present—and remind us that while women live differently now, they still face obstacles to attaining full equality.

Title : Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393079031
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

August 18, 2017

First woman, Elsie Singer, portrait Second woman, Lucia Fairchild. Although Sargent didn't paint her, only her sister Sally, he had a big influence on her own painting endevour and career. Third woman was Elizabeth Cha...

Dem rated it ★★☆☆☆

September 18, 2017

2.5 Stars Really wanted to love this one as it had all the elements I was looking for in a good book but unfortunately it fell flat for me and I will try to outline my reasons why. I love reading books about painters and their muses and was really excited when I read the premise for this book. A mu...

Louise rated it ★★★☆☆

October 03, 2017

Is this move to document Sargent’s subjects a trend? (i.e: Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting; Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X) Are portrait sitters for other artists receiving so much 21st century attention? Donna Lucey has given us, through the portraits of...

Jill rated it ★★★★☆

December 04, 2017

If you have ever looked at the faces of the women in John Singer Sargent's Gilded Age portraits and wondered about their lives, this is the book you need to read. Sargent's reputation has waxed and waned over the years but he remains my favorite portraitist and his canvases are scattered through...

Jill rated it ★★★★☆

August 26, 2017

Have you ever looked at a portrait and wondered who the person was and what their life was like? Had they been chosen as a subject to pose for the artist or had they chosen the artist to portray them? Was the portrait done because the subject was famous or the artist was? A portrait can bring so...

Marzie rated it ★★★★☆

August 20, 2017

I was fortunate to receive an Advanced Reading Copy of this book 3.5 Stars John Singer Sargent has long been my favorite American painter. I first became fascinated with his work in the early 80's and was lucky enough to have been able to view the massive Whitney Museum of American Art retrospectiv...

Kathleen rated it ★★★★☆

October 06, 2017

Have you ever stepped back from one of John Singer Sargent’s brilliant portraits hanging in your favorite museum and wondered; “Who are you?”, “What was your life like?” Lucey has answered that question for four of the women he painted—Elsie Palmer, Sally Fairchild (and her more interesting siste...

Rick rated it ★★★☆☆

November 13, 2017

The book is beautifully printed and bound, and the eight pages of photographs and prints of paintings (by Sargent and others) are very well presented. The writing style of the author is lucid and clear, and she obviously did an extraordinary amount of careful research into the four or five women...

Marshall rated it ★★★★☆

November 11, 2017

This is an interesting book that deals with the subjects of some of Sargent’s paintings. Why we cannot have a full fledged biography of Sargent and must be content with his subjects, is a mystery to me. Still this book is entertaining and insightful. Most of the women lead complicated lives of an...

Jane rated it ★★★☆☆

October 22, 2017

I found this pretty dry and the paintings to be a relatively thin premise to hold together four unrelated biographies. I seem to have missed some pretty big details on Elizabeth Chanler because I wasn't staying too focused in spots.

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