Saturday, November 11, 2006

John Singer Sargent

Sargent: the Quiet American in European Art...

The elegant entrance to the Thyssen exhibition...

The Sargent/Sorolla exibition at the Thyssen (and at Fundacion Caja Madrid) is a must. Two outsiders to the dominant artistic establishment struggling to acquire status. Sargent had to poodle Mrs Curtis at the Palazzo Barbaro, in Venice. Sorolla had to paint folk depictions of Spanish provinces for an American millionaire. Their talent, their strenghts and their shortcomings come very much to light in this curatorial one-on-one. Great stuff..
My favorite, from the Sargents at the Thyssen is precisely the one depicting the grand domesticity of the Curtises in the piano nobile of their own private palazzo:

John Singer Sargent, A Venetian Interior, 1898. Oil on Canvas, Royal Academy of Arts, London

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