To read more about Charlotte Mason picture study and see the other Picture Study Aids I have available, click here.
Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation. Wherever you are, be always ready to make slight notes of postures, groups and incidents. Store up in the mind… a continuous stream of observations from which to make selections later. Above all things get abroad, see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.John Singer Sargent
If I had lived in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and had the means to get to Europe, I would want John Singer Sargent to paint my portrait. I wouldn’t have been alone in this inclination, as he became so famous as a portrait painter (his oeuvre includes the official White House portrait of Teddy Roosevelt) that he eventually claimed to hate painting them and never wanted to do another one as long as he lived.
Despite his eventual loathing of painting the portraits of his wealthy and influential contemporaries, he had an enormous talent for capturing not only the likeness of his sitters with supreme skill but also their personalities. He didn’t fix them in the stiff, upright poses usually associated with portrait painting. Instead, he had them pose in divergent ways wearing different kinds of clothes that allowed who they really were to shine through. With bold strokes and bright colors, he brought them to life on the canvas.
Aside from his portrait painting, he also had a knack for capturing moments. At a time when photography was still in its infant stages, Sargent had an eye for seeing a moment and recording it on the canvas in the same way that a photograph might record the same scene.
This post serves to let you know that I now have a free Picture Study Aid for his work available in PDF format! This guide uses the selections from the AmblesideOnline artist rotation, and you can find a page with additional reading suggestions in the Living Art Book Archive.
The guide also includes a brief overview of Charlotte Mason picture study at the beginning. However, I have also written posts on the blog about why picture study is important and how we do it in our home and homeschool co-op.
You can download the file at the link at the end of the post!
This guide is by no means an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece, and that is intentional. I tried to keep it all very simple in the spirit of Charlotte Mason’s principles and there being, “no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman.” (vol 6 pg 216)
You may download it below for personal use in your own homeschool!