Sargent and Fashion

Erica E. Hirshler


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Tate Publishing
5 October 2023
ISBN: 9781849768597
248 pages

From the publisher

A must-read exhibition catalogue for both fashion history and art enthusiasts, Sargent and Fashion in paperback explores the dynamic relationship of painting and dress — from portraits and performance, gender expression and the New Woman, to the pull of tradition and the excitement of new ideas.

Rather than holding up a mirror to contemporary fashion, Sargent made fashion a part of his artistic repertoire. He often chose what his sitters wore, pinned their garments, or draped fabric around them, all with a view to creating confections to be recorded on canvas through his unrivalled artistic gifts.

‘The coat is the picture,’ John Singer Sargent exclaimed to his fellow artist Graham Robertson in the summer of 1894, tugging a heavy overcoat ever more tightly around his sitter's slender figure. Sought-after by sitters for his ability to present to the world flattering and engaging likenesses, Sargent was simultaneously pursuing his own artistic vision.

With contributions from many of the leading thinkers on Sargent and his world, and lavish reproductions of major portraits and exquisite costumes of the period, this publication offers a vital new perspective on one of the most famous and fashionable artists of all time.