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FrontRunners: John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent’s Atlantic Storm is part of Sargent and the Sea, an exhibit that will travel to Houston in February and to London in July.

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The roundly talented Italian-born American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) is perhaps best known for Madame X, a portrait of Madame Gautreau in which the artist emphasized the Parisian beauty’s alabaster skin and black décolleté dress. The painting made waves at Paris’ Salon of 1884, where critics considered it strange and sexually charged.

This year Sargent’s art is making waves of a different nature, as the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., sends Sargent and the Sea ( to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (February 14 to May 23), and to London’s Royal Academy of Arts (July 10 to September 26). The exhibition, which commenced in September, unites more than 80 of Sargent’s lesser-known paintings, watercolors, and drawings—all of which were influenced by his coastal and transatlantic travels as a young man.

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