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Children & Family, Adults, Teens, Virtual Programming, Artwork Spotlights

Artwork Spotlight: Portrait of Norah Gribble by John Singer Sargent

Monday, September 07, 2020

6:00pm - 6:05pm

This evocative piece by Sargent, one of the greatest portrait artists in American history, is among his largest full-length portraits. He won praise and critical acclaim for his looser approach to brushstroke and ability to reveal the psychology of his sitters.

Sargent's Paris studio flourished in the late 1880s until he exhibited the scandalous and widely criticized portrait Madame X, a work he later sold for 1,000 pounds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1916. The tumult drove him out of France and into Britain, where he established a prosperous studio as a portrait painter for wealthy, elite patrons from England and the United States.

The portrait of Norah Gribble (a London-based socialite in her early 20s) is particularly notable for its massive scale, lifelike quality, and her alluring glance at the viewer. During Sargent's career, he painted some 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 sketches and charcoal drawings.

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925), Portrait of Norah Gribble, 1888, Oil on canvas, Acquired with funds provided by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, 2000.021