Sargent's Women by Donna M. Lucey
Four Lives Behind the Canvas

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

Perceptive biographies of a quartet of Gilded Age women...Colorful, animated portraits sympathetically rendered.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

"Sargent’s Women has a distinct elegance and potency—Lucey’s writing propels you forward, straight to the heart of the story, along the vibrant ties that linked this fascinating artist to the women he made infamous." —Christene Barberich, global editor-in-chief and cofounder, Refinery29


In this seductive, multilayered biography, based on original letters and diaries, Donna M. Lucey illuminates four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny intuition, Sargent hinted at the mysteries and passions that unfolded in his subjects’ lives.


Elsie Palmer traveled between her father’s Rocky Mountain castle and the medieval English manor house where her mother took refuge, surrounded by artists, writers, and actors. Elsie hid labyrinthine passions, including her love for a man who would betray her. As the veiled Sally Fairchild—beautiful and commanding—emerged on Sargent’s canvas, the power of his artistry lured her sister, Lucia, into a Bohemian life. The saintly Elizabeth Chanler embarked on a surreptitious love affair with her best friend’s husband. And the iron-willed Isabella Stewart Gardner scandalized Boston society and became Sargent’s greatest patron and friend.


Like characters in an Edith Wharton novel, these women challenged society’s restrictions, risking public shame and ostracism. All had forbidden love affairs; Lucia bravely supported her family despite illness, while Elsie explored Spiritualism, defying her overbearing father. Finally, the headstrong Isabella outmaneuvered the richest plutocrats on the planet to create her own magnificent art museum.


These compelling stories of female courage connect our past with our present—and remind us that while women live differently now, they still face obstacles to attaining full equality.

 

About Donna M. Lucey

See more books from this Author
Donna M. Lucey is an award-winning writer and photo editor whose previous books include Photographing Montana 1894–1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron and I Dwell in Possibility: Women Build a Nation 1600–1920. She lives with her husband and son in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the story of Archie and Amélie is part of local lore.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published August 22, 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company. 326 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Sargent's Women
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Aug 08 2017

Perceptive biographies of a quartet of Gilded Age women...Colorful, animated portraits sympathetically rendered.

Read Full Review of Sargent's Women: Four Lives B... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Amy Bloom on Aug 31 2017

The problem with creating portraits of women from John Singer Sargent’s world is that so many of those portraits have already been brilliantly, unforgettably created and immortalized, from sketch to canvas, by Sargent himself.

Read Full Review of Sargent's Women: Four Lives B... | See more reviews from NY Times

Rate this book!

Add Review
×