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John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was an American artist who hardly ever lived in America. He was born in Florence, Italy, on January 12, 1856, to a father who was a physician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a mother who loved art museums. Dr FitzWilliam Sargent had invested well, and this money, combined with his wife's inheritance, allowed them to leave their normal American lives behind and live abroad without Dr Sargent ever practicing medicine again. It was Mrs Sargent's dream that John would be an artist. It was she who exposed him to the rich art and culture of Italy, and it was while living in Florence that John's parents enrolled him at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, where he won the prize for excellence in his first year (1869-1870). John would not see the America that he considered himself a part of until he was 20 years old.1(pp21-35)
Collins EB. John Singer Sargent’s Helen Sears. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2010;12(3):212–213. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2010.22
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