Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Elite Eight: Sargent v. Vermeer

This is the last of the four "Elite Eight" featuring the last eight undefeated artists from the original field of 512.  To recap: Bruegel/Degas, van Gogh/Varo, Leonardo/Monet, and today: Sargent/Vermeer.  All of these matches are still open for voting, if you haven't got to 'em yet.

John Singer Sargent
1856 - 1925
Although Sargent painted, showed, and won praise for both portraits and subject pictures at the Salons between 1877 and 1882, commissions for portraits increasingly demanded his attention and defined his reputation. Sargent’s best-known portrait, Madame X, which he undertook without a commission, enlisted a palette and brushwork derived from Velázquez; a profile view that recalls Titian; and an unmodulated treatment of the face and figure inspired by the style of Édouard Manet and Japanese prints. The picture’s novelty and quality notwithstanding, it was a succès de scandale in the 1884 Salon, provoking criticism for Sargent’s indifference to conventions of pose, modeling, and treatment of space, even twenty years after Manet’s pioneering efforts.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Beat Juan Sánchez Cotán easily despite crowd support in Round 1.
  • Skunked Roelandt Savery in Round 2.
  • Skunked Dutch still-life master Rachel Ruysch in Round 3.
  • Crushed Henri Rousseau in Round 4 by a two-vote swing.
  • Encountered some resistance, but prevailed, against Rembrandt in Round 5.
  • Scorched Charles Sheeler in Round 6.

Jan Vermeer
1632 - 1675
With Rembrandt and Frans Hals, Vermeer ranks among the most admired of all Dutch artists, but he was much less well known in his own day and remained relatively obscure until the end of the nineteenth century. The main reason for this is that he produced a small number of pictures, perhaps about forty-five (of which thirty-six are known today), primarily for a small circle of patrons in Delft.... His compositions are mostly invented and exhibit the most discriminating formal relationships, including those of color. In addition, Vermeer’s application of paint reveals extraordinary technical ability and time-consuming care.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Beat Veronese easily in Round 1.
  • Vanquished Maria Elena Vieira da Silva in Round 2.
  • Trounced Félix Vallotton in Round 3.
  • Beat Turner in Round 4 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Got past Jan Steen in Round 5.
  • Beat Michaelangelo in Round 6.


Christine M. said...

Tough one. Sergeant.

mrs.5000 said...


Chance said...

Sargent! By a nose

boonec1974 said...

Easy one. Sargent.

Morgan said...


Nichim said...

I like them both about the same, but the one picture of Sargent's that I love, well, I love it a little bit more than the one picture of Vermeer's that I love, so, my vote goes to Sargent.

UnwiseOwl said...

Sargent for those SHADOWS!

DrSchnell said...

Close, but Sargent

Michael5000 said...

Keiko and Grace both go for Sargent on the Facebooks.

Michael5000 said...

OK, first of all, the two first paintings in this contest are probably my two favorite pictures in the universe. Then, you know, I really think of myself as a Vermeer man, and don't really think of myself as a Sargent man, which is why it's kind of surprising to find myself, here goes, voting for SARGENT.

Michael5000 said...

Susan sends in a Vermeer vote on a Sargent postcard.

Candida said...


Michael5000 said...

Sargent in a conflicted whupping, 11 to 2! Sargent is heading to the almost-Final Four!