Posts Tagged ‘Henry James’

Vanity Fair

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

Thack­eray endows Rebecca Sharp — “that artful little minx — with all the qual­i­ties which make his own writing so delightful. He portrays Rebecca as an artist — the lost, bril­liant child of a singer and a painter, singing and dancing, scheming and dreaming her way though life.

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John Singer Sargent

Tuesday, June 29th, 1999

He was the preem­i­nent portrait painter of his day, and he gave it all up to paint land­scapes. His private life is a mystery. His brush­work is still dazzling. JOHN SINGER SARGENT seems to have walked out of the pages of a novel by Henry James, who wrote of him: “Yes, I have always thought of Sargent as a great painter. He would be greater still if he had done one or two little things he hasn’t — but he will do.”

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Pleasures of Paris

Friday, September 6th, 1991

in a moment, the door will swing back shut, and the cafe will disap­pear, and then the street singer will vanish, into the street, into the night, never to be seen again. Only here, in this painting, where she is forever caught in the golden net of the Paris night at the moment when she stepped out through the swinging door, onto the street, and into our dreams.

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John Singer Sargent’s EL JALEO

Wednesday, August 28th, 1991

In a dark, smoky room, a soli­tary dancer raises up her arm in a tense, ecstatic move­ment of inspi­ra­tion; her other hand clutches the skirt of her dress — a flash of white light gleaming in the dark. You can almost hear the rhythmic weeping of the guitars; you can almost feel beating of the dancer’s tumul­tuous heart.

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Mary Cassatt

Friday, July 14th, 1989

In many of the prints, a woman’s face is partially obscured, either because of the way she has turned her head, or because she is holding some­thing in front of her face ‑‑ a hand, a letter, a child. This conveys a sense of mystery, a feeling that there are secret mean­ings and moments of tragedy and what Virginia Woolf called “ecstasy” — hidden in the texture of a woman’s daily life.

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