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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:326
  • eBook ISBN:9781937818142

Portraits of an Artist

A Novel about John Singer Sargent

by Mary F. Burns

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From 1882 to 1884, John Singer Sargent painted his greatest masterpieces—the Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Madame X—haunting portraits with dark psychological depths. The first unconsciously revealed a secret that would cause great anguish in his private life; the other created a social scandal that drove him from Paris forever. Portraits of an Artist brings to life the subjects of Sargent’s paintings—his family, friends, enemies and lovers—to tell his story from their own perspectives. John Singer Sargent’s portraits told more than he ever wanted anyone to know.
John Singer Sargent was an enigmatic figure in his private life—he never married, but was intimate with many of the fin de siècle celebrities in Paris, London, Venice: Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Edward Burne-Jones, Sarah Bernhardt. In 1882, Sargent was twenty-six and rising rapidly to fortune and fame, especially in Paris—but by the end of 1884, he had retreated from the City of Lights, disgraced and grieving, to make a new home in London. During these years, Sargent produced what are considered to be his finest paintings, especially the Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Madame X, haunting portraits with dark psychological depths that engage and puzzle the viewer. Mary F. Burns’ second work of historical fiction—Portraits of an Artist—imaginatively portrays the motivations and passions behind Sargent’s creative force and brilliant art.
About the author
Ms. Burns writes historical fiction, is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, has won awards for short stories, and lives in San Francisco. Her other books include J-The Woman Who Wrote the Bible (O-Books, 2010), The Lucky Dog Lottery, and The Tarot Card Murders.