The Easel

Review: Sargent’s Intimate Portraits of Friends at the Metropolitan Museum

Sargent funded his lifestyle by doing society portraits – “high polish” jobs of the great and the good. But with this particular clientele it was important that he self-edit – his too-candid portrait of Madame X led to him leaving Paris. A current show reveals that when painting for himself and his friends a different style came to the fore:  –“a relaxed recklessness of a kind that scintillates”