Portrait of Sergei Diaghilev with His Nanny and The Artist Mother Analysis


Write a one-page summary of each of the following portraits, for a total of three pages: John Singer Sargent, Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes, 1897 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) Lev Bakst, Portrait of Sergei Diaghilev with His Nanny, 1904-1906 (Textbook, West & Russian Museum) James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey & Black: The Artist’s Mother 1871 (Textbook, West & Musée d’Orsay [currently on loan to Louvre Abu Dhabi])

(the three paintings are in the attached files)


Make lists of the details you notice in each of the following three portraits. (Include this list at the end of each painting’s report).

Reflect on the things you have noticed and recorded – Why were they included? What could they mean? What do they add to the painting?

Organize your notes and write a one-page summary of what you noticed about these three portraits and what you deduce that each detail means or how the specific details enhance the paintings. Do some investigation (research) to confirm your deductions or to further your discovery about the paintings and what is being projected.


For each painting’s report – identify the work in the opening paragraph of your summation (artist, title, date).

For this paper, it is okay to write in first person, but avoid statements such as “great artist” “work is amazing” “a beautiful masterpiece,” etc.

Be specific when discussing things like meaning, compositional elements, symbols / iconography, etc. Provide examples.

Biographical information on the artists is not necessary unless it supports your thesis, yet biographical information on the sitter may be very important in helping to analyze the painting.

Be sure to cite any sources, no wiki, only scholarly sources

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