Pictured: "Dr. Pozzi at Home" (1881), Sargent's portrait of the Parisian gynecologist and playboy. Oil on canvas.
Sargent cultivated commissions from the rich and famous of the Gilded Age, and became famous himself for his luscious, flattering, society portraits, which is exactly what critics often held against him.
"For a very long time he was defined by his commissioned works, and he was defined by the people he painted. And I think that was very unfair," said co-curator Betsy Kornhauser, who believes the artist's reputation is undergoing a radical re-evaluation.
"John Singer Sargent, beyond being the most talented and celebrated portrait painter of his day, I think looking back in time, we could say that he was one of the greatest artists of all time," she said.