R & R

I’ve not got the usual video for you this Friday I’m afraid (though I’m hatching big plans for upcoming ones). No, instead I’m taking a break today and giving Husband (who’s our hard-working camera and editing man) some much-needed rest and relaxation too! Here to help us get into the lazing state of mind is John Singer Sargent (1865 – 1925) with this lovely, languid portrait called Nonchaloir (Repose), from 1911.

Sargent’s masterful technical facility (see his hand whip-whipping across the shimmering skirts here), as well as his knack for showing to perfection pretty sitters in their sumptuous surroundings, made him popular with well-heeled patrons on both sides of the Atlantic. But, by 1909 he’d grown faintly tired of this well-trodden format, and was keen to “experiment with more imaginary fields.” One upshot is this deliciously recumbent image of his niece Rose-Marie Ormond Michel, caught in a completely unconventional pose and seemingly miles off in a state of semi-snooze. Makes you want to kick back and do the same, doesn’t it? See you tomorrow (and next week, for our new video).