Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas (Paperback)

Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas By Donna M. Lucey Cover Image
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A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

“[Lucey] delivers the goods, disclosing the unhappy or colorful lives that Sargent sometimes hinted at but didn’t spell out.”—Boston Globe

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. These women inhabited a rarefied world of wealth and strict conventions—yet all of them did something unexpected, something shocking, to upend society’s rules.

About the Author

Donna M. Lucey is the author of the New York Times best-selling Archie and Amélie and other books, the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities grants, and a 2017 writer-in-residence at Edith Wharton’s The Mount. The media editor at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, she lives in Charlottesville.

Praise For…

[A] lyrical meditation on life, love, and art in the Gilded Age.… Sargent’s Women abounds with dazzling characters in atmospheric settings.

— Jane Kamensky - Wall Street Journal

Straight from the pages of a novel by Edith Wharton or Henry James.
— Michael Prodger - The Times (London)

Like characters from the writings of Edith Wharton, [these women] were smart, passionate, willful, adventurous and striking-looking.… Lucey’s prose is invitingly conversational and quick-flowing. Her character sketches are colorful and she is not, thank goodness, above conveying some wonderfully catty gossip.
— Alexander C. Kafka - Washington Post

— Frances Wilson - Times Literary Supplement

Lucey champion[s] unconventional women… piecing together their intricate lost stories, and the stormy brew of scandal and repression that affected these women—and Sargent himself.
— Estelle Tang - Elle

Many penetrating insights into the studiously private Sargent.
— Weekly Standard

[A] vivid adventure.
— Antiques and the Arts Weekly

Lucey upends our assumption that elite women of the Gilded Age were confined to a limited domestic sphere. The four women she profiles were rule-breakers and worldly sophisticates who powered through extreme challenges imposed by family, social norms, and illness. Each was painted by Sargent, but Lucey's narrative portraits upstage even his brilliant renderings, revealing four not-to-be-denied women of strength and determination.
— Elizabeth Broun, former director, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery

Sargent’s Women has a distinct elegance, energy, 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 co-founder, Refinery29

In Donna M. Lucey’s deft hands, four John Singer Sargent portraits become portals to the Gilded Age. By delving into the lives of the heiresses he painted she brings us into their scintillating world. We watch as they travel the globe, twirl through ballrooms, make good or not-so-good marriages, embark on affairs—and pursue new careers in a time of changing roles for women.
— Laura J. Snyder, author of Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393356168
ISBN-10: 0393356167
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 336
Language: English

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