5th February 2025 – John Singer Sargent: The Private Radical

Wednesday 5th February 2025

John Singer Sargent: The Private Radical

Gavin Plumley

Whether drawing duchesses or portraying princes, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was high society’s leading portraitist. Flaunting a consummate technique, his luxurious canvases mirrored his subjects’ wealth. Yet beneath the dazzling veneer of works such as Madame X and The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit lurks a much rawer world by far. This lecture will chart the artist’s life and his prolific output, and show that, like the era he came to represent, Sargent was always on the cusp of seismic change.

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Gavin Plumley is a writer and broadcaster, appearing on Radios 3 and 4, and contributing to newspapers, magazines and opera and concert programmes worldwide. He lectures widely on the culture of Central Europe to organisations such as the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the V&A.

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