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Sargent in Spain

The National Gallery of Art in Washington presents from October 2, 2022 to January 2, 2023 "Sargent and Spain": some 140 unpublished oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and photographs by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), some of which have probably taken by the artist himself during his travels in Spain and the Balearic Islands at the beginning of the 20th century.

White Ships, 1908, watercolor over graphite, with gouache and wax resist, Brooklyn Museum
Navires blancs , 1908, aquarelle sur mine de plomb, avec gouache et réserve de cire, Brooklyn Museum

“Sargent and Spain” explores for the first time how the artist interacted with the country in all its dimensions and represented it in his paintings, drawings and photographs, said Kevin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art.

Soldats espagnols, ch. 1903, aquarelle sur mine de plomb, avec gouache, Brooklyn Museum
Soldats espagnols, ch. 1903, aquarelle sur mine de plomb, avec gouache, Brooklyn Museum

The exhibition will be articulated in 6 sections, the first evoking the immersion of the young Sargent in the universe of Spanish art, and particularly Velasquez at the Prado. The second section will show how the artist represented Spanish dancers and musicians, largely inspired by Andalusian traditions.

Pêcheur majorquin, 1908, huile sur toile, Collection privée
Pêcheur majorquin, 1908, huile sur toile, Collection privée

The following three sections will present Sargent's approach to the landscapes and architectural features that struck him during his visits.

As for the last part, it evokes the painter's exploration of religious imagery linked to Spanish Catholicism, which is particularly reflected in the frescoes on the theme of the "Triumph of religion" that he produced for the Boston Public Library between 1895 and 1919.

Fresque de la bibliothèque de Boston par John Singer Sargent
Fresque de la bibliothèque de Boston par John Singer Sargent

A strong and lasting friendship bound Claude Monet to John Sargent. In 1885, the latter notably executed "Claude Monet painting at the edge of a wood".

Claude Monet Peinture à l'orée d'un bois (1885) de John Singer Sargent. Huile sur toile. 54,0 × 64,8 cm. Tate Gallery, Londres.
John Singer Sargent. Monet peignant à l'orée d'un bois . 1885 Tate Gallery, Londres.

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