Portrait of Catherine Vlasto (1897). John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925). Oil on canvas. Hirshhorn Museum. Sargent’s work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the Grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism.