People and Portrait Art for Sale
Explore the hidden self in this specially curated collection of portraits and figure paintings. Seated characters ponder life while proud female figures pose for the canvas, each revealing personal and inspiring qualities. Working in oil paint, acrylics, and watercolor, our artists capture what it means to be human.Read more
Unlike many celebrated artists of his time, American oil painter, draftsman, portraitist, muralist, and (yes) guitarist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) elected to work alone, absent any assistants. Preferring to handle all tasks, mundane and otherwise, he prepped his canvases, varnished the final results, and arranged photography, documentation, and shipping. Born in Florence to American parents who’d curtailed the rest of their trip in light of a cholera epidemic, Sargent grew up in Europe, spending many of his adult years painting in London. It was not uncommon for American clients to travel there to have Sargent paint them, his fees in the vicinity of $5,000 which today translates to $130,000.
Unlike his commissions, the young socialite wife of a French banker Virginie Amelie Avegno Gautreau was earnestly pursued by Sargent. An American expatriate in France, Gautreau had refused similar requests from other artists but the story goes that during the winter of 1883, Sargent’s persistence won her over. Artist and model reportedly had a shared interest in attaining French high society status, their collaboration an apt vehicle for the same. Despite their mutual goal, however, Gautreau was preoccupied with a young child, domestic staff, and social engagements, also lacking the discipline to sit for long hours. At her behest, Sargent traveled to her Brittany estate in June, resulting in 30 drawings, preparatory watercolors, and oils. Sargent’s lament about her: “…the unpaintable beauty and hopeless laziness of Madame Gautreau.” She did, nevertheless, become his iconic Portrait of Madame X.
Owning what’s been reported as the largest private contemporary art collection by a single person, entertainment magnate David Geffen - Asylum Records; Geffen Records; DreamWorks SKG) - has been amassing art for decades. With a personal net worth of $8.5 billion, Geffen was the proud owner of de Kooning’s definitive Abstract Expressionism figure painting Woman III until he sold it to hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen in 2006.
Geffen’s affinity for art runs deep, incredibly so given his lower middle class Brooklyn roots. His Jewish immigrant parents left Mandatory Palestine to New York; his mother eventually owning a corset shop. Geffen barely met the requirements to graduate high school. Dropping out of three separate colleges in Austin, Brooklyn, and Santa Monica, Geffen’s learning issues soon pointed to dyslexia. He was reportedly able to circumvent a college graduate requisite for a coveted entry level job at the William Morris Agency. Falsely claiming a degree from UCLA on his application, his mailroom post enabled a strategic interception of the university’s return letter to HR, stating he’d never even matriculated.
UGallery’s contemporary figurative and portrait painters use a variety of techniques to convey the intricacies and aesthetic details of the human form. Read what artists Malia Pettit and Elizabeth Wing have to say.
“I am driven by the idea of idealized beauty and how it is ultimately constructed in my paintings. Whether a portrait or still life composition, I seek to unveil the subject's inherent characteristics and the freedom to exist without any forced narrative.” - Malia Pettit, portrait and figure painter
“I am interested in the human experience and how those experiences simultaneously draw us together and tear us apart. My work features abstract figures where I explore what's beneath the surface once barriers are removed and broken down.” - Elizabeth Wing, abstract figure painter