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Art Diary

Sargent and Spain

23 September 2022

Between 1879 and 1912, John Singer Sargent made seven visits to Spain. They yielded more than 225 works, ranging from intimate studies of local life to panoramic landscapes of the Mallorca coastline. Presenting some 140 pieces, this exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., explores, through works in oil, watercolour and rarely seen photographs, how the painter immersed himself in Spanish art and culture over this period. Lively works such as The Spanish Dance (c. 1879–82) and Spanish Roma Dancer (c. 1879–1880) delight in the thrill of music and dance, but Sargent was also drawn to moments of tranquillity; highlights on display here include scenes of the Spanish countryside such as Under the Olives (1908) and Majorcan Fisherman (1908). The exhibition also considers Sargent’s debt to painters such as Velázquez, Goya and El Greco, with works by these Old Masters included alongside Sargent’s paintings. Find out more on the National Gallery of Art’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Spanish Roma Dancer (c. 1879–80), John Singer Sargent. Private Collection. Photo: © Quick Silver Photographers

Women at Work (c. 1912), John Singer Sargent. Private collection. Courtesy A.J. Kollar Fine Paintings, LLC.

Majorcan Fisherman (1908), John Singer Sargent. Private collection

La Carmencita Dancing (1809), John Singer Sargent. Private collection

The Spanish Dance (1879–80), John Singer Sargent. Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York

Under the Olives (1908), John Singer Sargent. Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, Illinois. Photo: Daniel Overturf