John Singer Sargent: Watercolors Info

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John Singer Sargent’s approach to watercolor was unconventional.
Going beyond turn-of-the-century standards for carefully delineated and
composed landscapes filled with transparent washes, his confidently
bold, dense strokes and loosely defined forms startled critics and
fellow practitioners alike. One reviewer of an exhibition in London
proclaimed him “an eagle in a dove-cote”; another called his work
“swagger” watercolors. For Sargent, however, the watercolors were not so
much about swagger as about a renewed and liberated approach to
painting. In watercolor, his vision became more personal and his works
more interconnected, as he considered the way one image--often of a
friend or favorite place--enhanced another. Sargent held only two major
watercolor exhibitions in the United States during his lifetime. The
contents of the first, in 1909, were purchased in their entirety by the
Brooklyn Museum of Art. The paintings exhibited in the other, in 1912,
were scooped up by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. John Singer
Sargent Watercolors
reunites nearly 100 works from these collections
for the first time, arranging them by themes and subjects: sunlight on
stone, figures reclining on grass, patterns of light and shadow.
Enhanced by biographical and technical essays, and lavishly illustrated
with 175 color reproductions, this publication introduces readers to the
full sweep of Sargent’s accomplishments in this medium, in works that
delight the eye as well as challenge our understanding of this
prodigiously gifted artist.
The international art star of the
Gilded Age, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was born in Italy to
American parents, trained in Paris and worked on both sides of the
Atlantic. Sargent is best known for his dramatic and stylish portraits,
but he was equally active as a landscapist, muralist, and watercolor
painter. His dynamic and boldly conceived watercolors, created during
travels to Tuscan gardens, Alpine retreats, Venetian canals and Bedouin
encampments, record unusual motifs that caught his incisive eye.

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Reviews for John Singer Sargent: Watercolors:


May 24, 2014

This is an excellent book from an artist perspective with not only large format reproductions of these brilliant works but interesting commentary on inventive techniques employed by this extraordinary artist. In particular I enjoyed the technical chapture on the materials and methods used. There is not much biographical content look elsewhere for that.

Jul 04, 2014

Brilliant collection of glorious color plates depicting Sargent's watercolors from the Brooklyn and Boston Museums ... the accompanying text provides further enlightenment ... however, the exhibition itself was even more magnificent ...

Jan 03, 2014

Beautiful, large colors. Not a lot of commentary. Got me excited, prepared for exhibit.

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