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Sargent's Women

Four Lives Behind the Canvas

Donna M. Lucey (Author)

Overview | Formats
 

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.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming July 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35616-8
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverSargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas

    Hardcover

Endorsements & Reviews

“[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

“Ingenious.” — 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