John Singer Sargent Figures and Landscapes, 1874-1882; Complete Paintings: Volume IV Richard Ormond, Elaine Kilmurray, Warren Adelson

Publication date:
29 Sep 2006
Paul Mellon Centre
420 pages: 305 x 248mm
45 b-w + 250 color illus.


From 1874 to 1882, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) produced more than 200 paintings and water-colors aside from portraiture, including figures in landscape settings, architectural studies, seascapes, subject paintings, and studies after old masters. From powerful studies of models in Paris in the mid-1870s to compelling paintings set in Venice in the early 1880s, the works published in this volume of the catalogue raisonné show the variety of his aesthetic responses. He worked in the studio and en plein air, travelling widely during the eight years covered in this volume and painting in Paris, Brittany, Capri, Spain, North Africa, and Venice.
This is the first time that Sargent’s early work has been mapped so comprehensively. With very few exceptions, this beautifully produced book illustrates all the pictures under discussion in color. Each painting, including several which have never been published before, is documented in depth with full provenance, exhibition history, and bibliography, and in many cases new information is provided. The volume also reproduces a wealth of Sargent’s preliminary and related drawings and of comparative works by other artists.

Richard Ormond is a Sargent scholar and an independent art historian. He is author or co-author of books on Sargent, Landseer, Winterhalter, and Lord Leighton, and he is a great-nephew of John Singer Sargent. Elaine Kilmurray, co-author and research director of the John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné project, was co-curator of the exhibition Sargent and Italy in 2002–3 and of the Sargent retrospective which opened at the Tate, London, in 1998.

'Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray [are] two scholars of the highest quality, integrity and patience. They have already brought out the core of the catalogue raisonne, three wonderful volumes dealing with Sargent's portraits. ... I know of no set of books more plentiful in practical advice for anyone aspiring to paint portraits. ... The first volume, covering the years a sumptuous book and I am savouring every page.' - Paul Johnson, The Spectator

'All admirers of John Singer Sargent are indebted to Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray who, having completed the three volumes of their catalogue raisonne of his portraits, have now given us the equally distinguised and beautiful fourth volume.' - Tom Rosenthal, Independent on Sunday

'The fourth volume in the lavish, erudite catalogue raisonne explores the early years of this still underrated, hugely enjoyable painter. Sections on Paris, Morocco and Venice are a particular delight.' - Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times Magazine

'Ormond and Kilmurray have published four volumes of the Sargent catalogue raisonne within the past decade, in addition to participating in numerous exhibitions and their catalogues...Thanks to their efforts -and to the support of the Adelson Galleries, New York and Yale University Press - the documentation of Sargent's career is becoming accessible to scholars and amateurs alike, and his achievement is being revealed as more varied and complex than many might have imagined.' - Marc Simpson, Burlington Magazine