John Singer Sargent: Fashion & Swagger

Documentary 90 min

A sublime mix of fine art, fashion and LGBTQ+ cultural history, the latest film from Exhibition on Screen unpacks the spectacular gifts of painter John Singer Sargent, the greatest artist of his time. What made his “swagger” portraits of high society men and women remarkable was his power over his affluent sitters, influencing what they wore and how they were presented, often among the luxuriant splendor of their magnificent homes. Consider “Madame X,” his showstopper in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Sargent collection. Last year, “Madame X” traveled to Boston to appear in the Museum of Fine Arts’ “Fashioned by Sargent,” the blockbuster Sargent retrospective organized by, and now on display at, the Tate Britain in London through July 2024. If you can’t get to London and missed the exhibition stateside, which included some 50 portraits and many original dresses and fashion accessories from his paintings, this beautiful film will transport you headlong into Sargent’s world. Director David Bickerstaff interviews MFA and Tate Britain curators and experts who detail this master painter and stylist’s genius. See Sargent’s work like never before in stunning detail.

“You can take Sargent out of fashion, but you cannot take the fashion out of Sargent.” — Stephanie Sporn, Vogue
directed by
David Bickerstaff
United Kingdom