National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Impressionism

Sargent’s years in Paris coincided with the rise of impressionism. He admired Manet and Degas, and developed a close, lifelong association with Monet, whom he painted twice. In England in the mid-1880s, Sargent experimented with impressionist subjects and techniques in a series of river scenes. Emulating Monet, he even set up a floating studio on the Thames at Henley. Sargent’s impressionism differed, however, from that of the French in its more precise definition of form and space. Concerned with the depiction of light, Sargent applied the paint in separate strokes of pure color that make the surface of the canvas appear to flicker, but without dissolving the forms in the atmosphere, as did Monet. In his masterpiece of the period, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, which he painted chiefly out-of-doors, Sargent captured the combined effect of natural twilight with the artificial candlelight of the lanterns, as reflected off the children’s faces and the lily petals. Although radical -- by the standards of the time -- in its high-keyed colors and brushy manner, the painting belongs to the Victorian tradition with its decorative flowers, plant symbolism, and theme of innocence. Highly praised when exhibited at the London Royal Academy, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose brought Sargent fame in England. (continue)

International Artist | Triumph and Scandal | Impressionism
Portrait Painter | Watercolors | Late Studies | Brochure Images