Saturday, April 11, 2015

Advice on Painting from John Singer Sargent

Thomas Jefferson Kitts has done us all a favour and created a digital version - and an ebook in pdf format - of two second-hand accounts of Sargent's teaching and painting methods. One of these is as recounted by the Honorable Evan Charteris, K.C. in his 1927 biographical book, "Sargent" (now out of print).

I've previously read accounts of how Sargent painted - based on those who observed and recorded what he said. However it's nice to be able to read it in an attractive format - albeit online

The difference with this version is that Kitts has added his own annotations - in red ink - to the original text and has also presented it rather well in pdf format.

You can download the pdf file for Advice on Painting from John Singer Sargent from Google Drive

If you prefer you can go to the original digital archive of the book from the Internet Archive - see
John Sargent by Charteris, Evan.
People always think the subject of this painting is John Singer Sargent - but it's not.

The painting is by Sargent - but it's called Reconnoitring and it's a portrait of the painter Ambrogio Raffele. It's currently on loan from Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti, Piazza Pitti 1 50125 Firenze, Italy to the National Portrait Gallery where you can see it in the Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends exhibition - on until 25 May 2015.


  1. Thanks for posting this - fabulous resource!

  2. Seconded, thank you for posting

  3. This Sargent guy could really draw and paint well, and was not just a watercolorist as many seem to think :)

  4. Thanks for highlighting the document.

    You can also download it here:


    Thomas Jefferson Kitts


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