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Portrait of Charles Deering

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Charles Deering (1852–1927) was a successful Chicago businessman and entrepreneur who served as chairman of the International Harvester Company. An amateur artist who studied painting in Paris, he built an impressive art collection and was an important patron of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sargent and Deering first met in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1876. Painted more than forty years later, this informal portrait is a testimony of their lasting friendship.
In 1917, Sargent was in Florida completing a portrait of John D. Rockefeller. While there, he visited Deering at his home at Brickell Point, Miami. In this brilliant portrait, Sargent employs a loose technique to create a sympathetic portrait of his aging friend among the coconut palms, capturing the dazzling effect of sunlight on his bright white suit. Here, Sargent’s fluid handling of oil paint has the ease and apparent spontaneity of a watercolor.

Portrait of Charles Deering, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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