JOHN SINGER SARGENT
THE ART OF GLAMOUR
A woman is asked out as much for her clothes as for herself.
When Mrs. Joseph Chamberlain, the third wife of a leading British politician, was painted by American artist John Singer Sargent in 1902, upper class women were expected to spend hours preparing themselves for public display—adorned in the opulent gowns and elaborate hairdos typical of the Gilded Age. Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the Pulitzer prize winning novelist from New York, wrote about this elite society, often from a critical point of view in The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. However, Sargent (1856-1925) was more complimentary in his portrayals, enhancing and even glamorizing the prestigious clientele who eagerly posed for him.
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