Here’s a video you can watch, or just listen to while you’re working on something else…
Richard Ormond is the former Director of London’s National Maritime Museum and the former Deputy Director of London’s National Portrait Gallery. He is also one of the world’s leading authorities on John Singer Sargent, who was his great Uncle, and he’s published at least 9 volumes on his work. He spoke at The Art League in Virginia on November 5, 2015, and lucky for us, they posted the hour & twenty minute lecture on youtube, so you can listen & watch it too. Artist extraordinaire Robert Liberace introduces him:
Naples is simply superb and I spent a delightful week there. Of course it was very hot, and one generally feels used up. It is in fact that in Naples they eke out their wine with spirits and drugs, so that a glass of wine and water at a meal will make a man feel drunk. I had to take bad beer in order not to feel good-for-nothing. I could not sleep at night. In the afternoon I would smoke a cigarette in an armchair or on my bed and at five o’clock wake up suddenly from a deep sleep of several hours. Then lie awake all night and quarrel with the mosquitoes, fleas and all the imaginable beasts. I am frightfully bitten from head to foot. Otherwise Italy is all that one can dream for beauty and charm.
~John Singer Sargent, writing to a friend while on a painting trip.
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