Quotation by John Sargent

I hate to paint portraits! I hope never to paint another portrait in my life.... Portraiture may be all right for a man in his youth, but after forty I believe that manual dexterity deserts one, and, besides, the colour-sense is less acute. Youth can better stand the exactions of a personal kind that are inseparable from portraiture. I have had enough of it.
John Sargent (1856–1925), U.S. artist. repr. In Richard Ormond, John Singer Sargent, ch. 6 (1970). quoted in Walter Tittle, "My Recollections of John Sargent," vol. 166, no. 724, Illustrated London News (1925).

Sargent frequently inveighed against what he called "paughtraights" and "mugs" though these were the basis of his reputation. Many, however, were poorly received, and the remark "Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend" has been attributed to him.
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