Author Interview: Paul Fisher's "The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent in His World"

Welcome to a bonus episode of ArtCurious featuring my interview with Paul Fisher about his latest book, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent in His World. An iconic American artist, John Singer Sargent was also a complicated and mysterious man. While presenting himself as a reserved, buttoned-up businessman, he scandalized viewers on both sides of the Atlantic with the frankness and sensuality of his work. He charmed the possessors of new money and old, while reserving his greatest sympathies for Bedouins, Spanish dancers, and the gondoliers of Venice. At the height of his renown in Britain and America, he quit his lucrative portrait-painting career to concentrate on allegorical murals with religious themes—and on nude drawings of male models that he kept to himself and that were left undiscovered until after Sargent’s death.  In his groundbreaking new biography, the scholar Paul Fisher offers a vivid life of the buttoned-up artist and his unbuttoned work. Sargent’s nervy, edgy portraits exposed illicit or dark feelings in himself and his sitters—feelings that London, Paris, and New York high society was fascinated by yet kept at bay. Masterfully researched and stunningly written, The Grand Affair brings back to life one of our most beloved artists and solidifies Fisher as a master of the genre. Please SUBSCRIBE and REVIEW our show on Apple Podcasts and FOLLOW on Spotify Instagram / Facebook / YouTube Buy The Grand Affair here! SPONSORS: BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month of counseling The Barnes Foundation: For a limited time, get 10% off your first Barnes Class when you visit our link Get 25% off of your entire order of canvas prints, canvas wall displays, metal prints, photo tiles, photo blankets and pillows, and much more when you use code ARTCURIOUS25 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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