01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, John Singer Sargent’s Nancy Witcher Langhorne, Viscountess Astor, with Footnotes. #140

John Singer Sargent, (1856–1925)
Nancy Witcher Langhorne, Viscountess Astor CH, MP, c. 1908

Oil on canvas
Height: 150.5 cm (59.2 ″); Width: 99.7 cm (39.2 ″)
National Trust

Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor, in full Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor of Hever Castle, née Langhorne, (born May 19, 1879, Danville, Virginia, U.S.—died May 2, 1964, Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, England), first woman to sit in the British House of Commons, known in public and private life for her great energy and wit.In 1897 she married Robert Gould Shaw of Boston, from whom she was divorced in 1903, and in 1906 she married Waldorf Astor, great-great-grandson of John Jacob Astor. When her husband succeeded to his father’s viscountcy and thus relinquished his seat in the House of Commons, Lady Astor, who had been his constant comrade-in-arms in his constituency at Plymouth, was adopted as Unionist candidate in his place and, after a stirring campaign, was elected by a substantial majority on November 28, 1919. Lady Astor was returned for Plymouth at subsequent general elections until her retirement from Parliament in 1945.

Apart from questions relating exclusively to women, her chief parliamentary work was done for a progressive educational policy, for temperance, and for the extension of the Trade Boards Acts. She constantly advocated the raising of the school-leaving age and in 1923 carried through the Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under 18) Bill. She also maintained a continuous agitation for improved conditions in certain branches of the distributive and catering trades. More on Nancy Witcher Langhorne

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his “Portrait of Madame X”, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceMiddle East Artists365 Saints and 365 Days, also visit my Boards on Pinterest

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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