John Singer Sargent Watercolors

The MFA recently unveiled their new exhibition, bringing together an unprecedented number of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors. John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was renowned during his lifetime as a master of portraiture. Born in Europe to American parents, he was trained in Europe and spent most of his life as an expatriate. However, he considered Boston to be his home when in America, even holding his first solo exhibition in our city! Much of Sargent’s career focused on portrait commisions for influential people (for example, Boston Sargent fans may be familiar with The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit at the MFA and his portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum).

The recently opened exhibition of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors showcases a different side of John Singer Sargent, as he captured his travels in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, including the marble quarry of Carrera, Bedouin camps, and spectacular Venetian architecture.

Simplon Pass: Reading John Singer Sargent  about 1911  Watercolor,  *Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund *Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Simplon Pass: Reading, John Singer Sargent, about 1911, Watercolor
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund
Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Santa Maria della Salute, John Singer Sargent, 1904, Watercolor  Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Santa Maria della Salute, John Singer Sargent, 1904, Watercolor
Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bedouins, John Singer Sargent, 1905–1906, Watercolor  Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bedouins, John Singer Sargent, 1905–1906, Watercolor
Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The exhibition brings together for the first time 92 watercolors from the collections of the MFA and the Brooklyn Museum, along with several of Sargent’s oil paintings and a few paintings by his contemporaries. “By showing these works in such strength, visitors will appreciate the brilliance of Sargent’s watercolors, which were the most intimate and personal works of his career,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. Lectures, classes, and demonstrations allow visitors to gain a more in depth understanding of Sargent’s work. This chance to view such a large collection of Sargent’s watercolors is not to be missed!

The Bridge of Sighs, John Singer Sargent, about 1903–1904, Watercolor   Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Bridge of Sighs, John Singer Sargent, about 1903–1904, Watercolor
Purchased by Special Subscription. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A Tramp, John Singer Sargent, about 1904–1906, Watercolor Purchased by Special Subscription Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A Tramp, John Singer Sargent, about 1904–1906, Watercolor
Purchased by Special Subscription
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Corfu: Lights and Shadows, John Singer Sargent, 1909, Watercolor  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Corfu: Lights and Shadows, John Singer Sargent, 1909, Watercolor
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund
Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

John Singer Sargent Watercolors, on view until January 20. MFA, Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue. Open Saturday-Tuesday, 10am – 4:45pm; Wednesday- Friday, 10am – 9:45pm. Admission (includes repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students, and free for 17 and younger weekdays after 3pm and weekends (otherwise $10). Wednesday nights after 4pm admission is by contribution. For more information, visit the MFA website.

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