John Singer Sargent(1856-1925) A famous American portraitist who painted during the 19th century. Although he studied in Europe during a period of experimentation and avant-garde styles, he came away with a very realistic style. He painted portraits of the rich and aristocratic and gave them a flattering look, usually by painting them in elegant clothing and distinguished poses. He was very popular and was flooded with commissions. After a painting numerous portraits, he began to grow tired of them and focused on murals and larger works.