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Mr  And Mrs  Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes by Sargent - Reproduction Oil Painting
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Mr  And Mrs  Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes

John Singer Sargent painted the double portrait entitled Mr. And Mrs. Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes in 1897. The couple had married just two years before, and a friend commissioned the painting as a gift for young bride Edith Minturn, a born New Yorker. The initial idea for her portrayal was a bit more traditional, as Sargent chose an evening gown for the sitter. The painter changed his mind and decided on a less conventional garment; a sporty daywear dress and a majestic Great Dane next to her.

On the day of the sitting, the dog was unexpectedly not available, and Mr. Stokes had an idea of posing in his place. What seemed a bit silly resulted in a compelling couple portrait where Mrs. Stokes is highlighted with soft white lighting, looking directly at the viewer. She wears a gray shirt, black bow tie, a black blazer with puffy sleeves, and a long white skirt. Her right hand holds a hat, and her left hand is positioned on her waist, showing her wedding ring. She stands in a position of power, smirking at the audience because she knows the spotlight is on her.

We can observe certain dualities of gender in the way Sargent used several male characteristics on Mrs. Stokes, like the way her hair is tied back and some pieces of masculine clothing. Mr. Stokes is in the background, on the left side of the canvas, and has a shadow cast on him. He has a dark beard, wears a white suit with a black bow tie, similar to his wife’s. Sargent fades the groom into the background – almost literally since the tonalities of the wall are comparable to the ones of his suit – giving his wife a position of power.

The way the artist highlights Mrs. Stokes is uncommon for this period, for women would mostly be portrayed more sensually. The contrast of light and dark between the two figures creates an interesting duality. The groom’s posture is also amusing, for he stands with a stern face and his arms crossed, like a bodyguard. Sargent was very famous for his portraits during this time, having many commissioned works. This was because he had a beautiful domain of the traditional painting technique but also was willing to bend the rules.

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Mr And Mrs Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes John Singer Sargent

Item Number: 7051624 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $1,083.99
you SAVE 55% Compared to Local Galleries $1,951.18
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