Author(s): Donna M. Lucey
The fascinating backstories of four women painted by John Singer Sargent come alive in this seductive, multilayered biography. With unprecedented access to newly discovered sources, Donna M. Lucey illuminates the lives of four extraordinary women painted by the iconic high-society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny clairvoyance, Sargent's portraits hint at the mysteries, passions, and tragedies that unfolded in his subjects' lives. Sequestered in a fantasy-land castle in the remote Rocky Mountains, Elsie Palmer carried on a labyrinthine love life; Elizabeth Chanler stepped into a maze of infidelity with her best friend's husband; as the veiled image of Sally FairchildÃ� beautiful, commanding, and poison-tonguedÃ� emerged on Sargent's canvas, the power of his artistry lured her sister Lucia into an ill-fated life in art; shrewd, iron-willed Isabella Stewart Gardner collected both art and young men. Born to unimaginable wealth, these women lived on an operatic scale, and their letters and diaries create a rich depiction of the Gilded Age and the acclaimed but secretive painter whose canvases defined the era.8 pages of color illustrations
Donna M. Lucey, author of the best-selling Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age and other books, recipient of two NEH grants, and a 2017 writer-in-residence at Edith Wharton's the Mount, is media editor at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.