John Singer Sargent was simply the most successful portraitist of his days at the end of the 19C and the beginning of the 20C. He lived in Italy, Paris and London. He travelled widely From to Venice to the Tyrol. Corfu on the European Mediterranean coast. He visited Morocco, Tangiers and Egypt on the North African coast. He even ventured into Lebanon, Syria and the Holyland. In American he went to Montana, Maine, Florida, Boston, New York, Washington DC etc. He was fluent in French, Italian and some German. He was well read in European literature, an accomplished pianist and a passionately keen musician. Henry James, the American writer who lived in Europe describe Sargent as being ‘civilized to his fingertips’. He knew personally many of the artists, performers and painters of his days, including the giants like Degas, Rodin, Monet and Whistler. Technically Sargent belong to the same line of portraitists like the Velazquez, Frans Hals and van Dyck, all of them committed their paint quickly onto the canvas. You will be amazed on close inspection of their paintings how spontaneous the paints were applied. Sargent like the Impressionists also a practitioner of painting in the ourdoor. This is particularly true with his watercolours, which were often a record of what he had seen. In his later life Sargent was mainly painting for the enjoyment of himself, as an observer. This was true when he was appointed as the War Artist in World War One. For comparison with his peers, I think it is interesting to compare him with the works of John Frederick Lewis, the orientalist, who also painted in oil as well as watercolour. Sargent and Van Gogh were born a few years apart and their career were developed in different direction regards to their career, style and technique. But both of them painted in the ‘open air’ (plein-air), as well. Sargent was sympathetic to the called of the Impressionists. He even used some of the technique but was never fully converted. Personally, I think Sargent is one of the finest artists of his time, and he knew it too.