About this artwork
John Singer Sargent was an internationally renowned portrait painter who also executed several mural commissions, including a series on the history of religion for the Boston Public Library (1890–1919). He traveled to Egypt in 1891 in search of source material and inspiration, drawn to the Middle East, like many of his contemporaries, by the region’s perceived exoticism and its ancient histories. Sargent painted this full-length figure study of an anonymous woman in a studio in Cairo. Instead of using the bravura painterly style of swift, visible brushstrokes that characterizes his society portraits, Sargent returned to his academic training, carefully modeling the woman’s form and flesh tones. She assumes a complicated pose, placing her weight on her right foot while twisting her upper body to the left. Life Study was widely exhibited, including at the Salon du Champs de Mars in Paris in 1892 and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
- John Singer Sargent
- Life Study (Study of an Egyptian Girl)
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, upper right: "John S. Sargent"
- 190.5 × 61 cm (75 × 24 in.)
- Anonymous loan