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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Painting of the Month (91) Nov 2019: John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent. San VigiIio: A Boat with a Golden Sail. 1913

This lovely impressionistic painting, by John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) is set in San Vigilio on the beautiful and tranquil shore of Lake Garda, Italy. It is always pleasing to look at; using a limited palette, its use of light is magical. Are the sails golden or is it the sunlight? All of the other elements in the picture appear to be draped in late afternoon sunlight, (I know its afternoon and not morning because the light is coming from the west.)
San Vigilio today

Sargent is well known as a very great portraitist and quite rightly so, but I have always preferred his landscapes. For me they simply convey a great joy in just looking at his subjects. He was highly skilled in the use both oil paints and watercolours. His parents were American but he was born in Florence and spent most of his life in Europe so he is regarded as an American ‘expat’. 
I'm listening to Madeleine Peyroux singing a lovely,jazzy version of Bob Dylan's You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. Listen here


Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, Sargent's landscapes certainly are masterful, but I still like his portraits. Not only do they beautifully record their era, they also provide real psychological penetration into the world of the Gibson Girl.

Hels said...

The first Singer Sargent I saw here was Hospital at Granada (1912). Although it was painted only a year earlier than your Golden Sail painting (1913), it was full of human emotions and expectations. I still love the image.

bazza said...

Hi Jim: Yes, I realise the quality of his portraits. I'm just talking about a personal preference really. I had to Google 'The Gibson Girl'. Very interesting. Thank you.

bazza said...

Hels: I'm fairly sure we saw that painting in Melbourne. On the whole I think I do favour his watercolour landscapes. Hospital at Granada has quite a muted palette compared to Golden Sail but it is very serene. (I Googled that as well!)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I do like watercolors and this one is lovely. I enjoy your reviews and comments on art and you make me want to know more.

I had quite a few Madeleine Peyroux CDs that I would listen to on my ride to and from work. They are all packed up in a box in my basement as now everything is streamed. It is easier, but I do miss giving and receiving music. It was always a good gift.

bazza said...

Arleen: I think Sargent seems to achieve a lot with the minimum work necessary.
I have seen adverts for businesses wanting buy vinyl records; maybe one day all of our old CDs will come back into fashion and be in demand!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That's a masterful painting. The sort of thing I can stand and admire for a long time. Or until my husband's eyes start to glaze over. :)

bazza said...

Susan: I hear that! I have the same reaction. The funniest is when I go away for a few days with the lads; I'm always trying to drag them out of the bars into museums or galleries. I think they are beginning to hate me!

Richard Parker said...
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