Celebrated for his striking portrait paintings, this exhibition sheds new light on John Singer Sargent’s acclaimed works. It explores how he worked like a stylist to craft the image of the sitters he painted, who he often had close relationships with.
Sargent used fashion as a powerful tool to depict identity and personality. He regularly chose the outfits of his collaborators or manipulated their clothing. This innovative use of costume was central to his artwork – for example, tugging a heavy coat tighter around a man to emphasise his figure or letting a dress strap sensuously slip from a woman’s shoulder. It was these daring sartorial choices that allowed him to express his vision as an artist.
Almost 60 of Sargent’s paintings will be on display, including major portraits that rarely travel. Several period garments will also be showcased alongside the portraits they were worn in. The show examines how this remarkable painter used fashion to create portraits of the time, which still captivate today.