John Singer Sargent (1859-1925) was not only a master painter, but a master drawer. At the time of his career, the two arts were considered inseparable. How could one paint, if one did not know how to draw?
Many drawings by master artists, while only considered studies in their own day, are now works of art in their own right—and often offer as much inspiration and beauty as the completed work of art.
Sargent’s Olimpio Fusco is such a drawing. Sargent, famous throughout his career for celebrating an aristocratic hauteur in his paintings, plays with this concept here; showing the young man to have a bearing bordering on arrogance.
This particular model, Olimpio Fusco, was employed by Sargent in London around the turn of the century.