National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Late Figure Studies and Landscapes

After he gave up formal portraiture, Sargent returned to outdoor painting in a series of landscapes with figures celebrating the pleasures of resting in the sun, reading, dreaming, playing chess, or sketching. At once realistic and highly contrived, these images of sensuous abandon are varied and innovative in their composition. Sargent painted his friends and relatives from unusual perspectives, close up or from above -- viewpoints that flatten the space and foreshorten the bodies. Two Girls in White Dresses , painted during an excursion in the Italian Alps, shows the same model twice in a sweeping zigzag composition that gives the painting a dynamism at odds with the passivity of the women. The lush handling of paint creates rhythms in the ample folds of the satin dress, animating the surface of the canvas and adding to the decorative effect. (continue)

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