Course description

During their overlapping careers, American expatriate artists James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) were conspicuously successful in the highly competitive centers of Paris and London. Cosmopolitan, supremely talented, and technically innovative, they produced work—at times controversial—that challenged prevailing norms and attracted international attention. In differing ways, they established American art as fully equivalent for the first time with the best of contemporary work in Europe. This course looks at major areas of their respective achievements, ranging from portraiture, subject paintings, and landscape to public productions such as murals and print portfolios. We also explore the related areas of exhibition strategies, responses to critical adversity, and construction of artistic celebrity.


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