Art: Painter of Appearances

Artistic taste today is likely to dismiss Painter John Singer Sargent as briskly as it does that whole great clutter of heavy gilt frames, dusty plush draperies and ornate grandeurs that marked his vanished era. It is only 30 years since Sargent died, half a century since the Edwardian peak of his fame; yet the interval can hardly be measured by years alone. Just how far and fast fashions have changed since Sargent's day could best be seen this week at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, celebrating the centennial of the painter's birth with...

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