Museums and Art

"Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt", John Singer Sargent - description


Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt - John Singer Sargent. 147.6x101.6 cm

The image of the 26th American president, created by Sargent, is an example of a classic ceremonial portrait in a typical impressionistic interpretation. There is nothing superfluous in the picture, only a spectacular image of a large middle-aged man, frozen in an expressive, but somewhat theatrical pose.

The canvas is created in such a way that nothing distracts the attention of the audience from the person of the president. The background is a clean wall without the slightest adornment or decor. The only element that “breaks” the empty space is a large wooden pedestal at the turn of the stairs. The fact that this is a staircase allows us to judge a small fragment of the railing. About her massive decorative ball and leans by hand the President of the United States of America. He put his left hand on his side, thereby opening the floor of a long frock coat and showing a rather large clock chain in his vest pocket. This is the only decoration in a very strict and even stiff outfit of the president.

The whole picture is made in very close colors from one gamut - brownish-golden. Painted in wide and free strokes, the wall shimmers and does not create the feeling of a blank inexpressive plane. The walnut tree of the pedestal has a medium tint; it seems to smooth out visually the contrast between the rather light wall and the dark suit of the president. If the wall seems movable due to overflow of shades, then the figure of a man simply radiates stability, solidity, practicality. He himself seems to be the personification of his own politics.

Roosevelt is dressed in a black "three" - a typical example of a man's dress of that time. Dark gray trousers accentuate the deep rich color of a frock coat with a satin collar. Its black color and various textures emphasize the whiteness of a simple shirt with a turn-down collar and a black tie.

Thanks to the restrained colors and a strict background without small details, all attention is concentrated on the man's face. Since the gaze was not given the opportunity to “catch” on small details on the canvas, one involuntarily fixes oneself on the eyes and on the expression on the face of the president. He has a bright blush of a full-blooded and temperamental man, a tense look behind his pince-nez glasses and a luxurious mustache. A feeling of power and authority emanates from his whole figure. Sargent was able to amazingly accurately convey the features of the nature of the president of one of the largest world powers.


Watch the video: Official Portraits of the Presidents (January 2022).