John Singer Sargent Notes

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  1. Sargent’s painting of the “greats of medicine” hanging at John’s Hopkins. Has always been a mixed inspiration for me. These 4 physicians were those most responsible for the transition of modern medicine from a profession based on experience taught via apprenticeship alone to one based on scientific observation, laying the foundation for the great scientific medical advances of the last century. Yet, they were very much part of the Enlightenment age that deified effort, human ingenuity and intelligence as the salvation of our race, an illusion that (though by now widely accepted as insufficient as a basis for moral or spiritual direction) is still very much alive and kicking in the medical world.The painting, like those painted, is massive, each figure having been painted life-size. http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/The_Four_Doctors.htm

    • Craig Lueck says:

      One of my favorite John Singer Sargent quotes which was paraphrased and carved into his gravestone epitaph was this: “To paint is to pray”. This was indeed his spiritual service of worship to be sure. A truly gifted man. Another quote worthy of an artist’s memorization and motivation is from Francis of Assisi – “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”