Exhibition on Screen – John Singer Sargent: Portrait Artist & Fashion
21 Apr

Exhibition on Screen – John Singer Sargent: Portrait Artist & Fashion

theatre
|
1H 45M
|
FULL £12, CONC £10
Directed by David Bickerstaff

John Singer Sargent was known as the greatest portrait artist of the late 19th century. Aside from his immense talent, what made his portraits truly remarkable was his choice and depiction of fashion and the complex messages these choices conveyed. His sitters assume elegant stances with the fabric of their dress richly depicted in broad, sensuous strokes. 

Sargent brought his subjects to life, but he did much more than simply record what appeared before him. He often chose what his sitters wore and, even if they arrived in his studio dressed in the latest fashions, he frequently simplified and altered the details. Exploiting dress was an integral part of his artistry. 

Filmed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Tate Britain, London, this superb film from Exhibition on Screen details how the exhibition explores the artist’s complex relationship with his often-influential clients, their clothes and their public image. Alongside 50 paintings by Sargent, several stunning clothes and accessories worn by his sitters appear next to the paintings, drawing the audience into 19th century society and shedding new light on the relationship between fashion and this beloved artist’s creative practice. 

The exhibition reveals Sargent’s power over his sitters’ images, expressing distinctive personalities, power dynamics and gender identity during this fascinating period of cultural reinvention. This film explores the relationship between artist and subject, examining the hidden meanings simmering beneath the surface of the late Victorian portrait

1h 45m
Times
21 Apr