Landmark Exhibition of John Singer Sargent Watercolors Reveals the Treasures of Two Renown Museum Collections.

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(Newswire,net — April 19th, 2013) New York, New York — Known during his early career as the greatest Anglo-American portrait painter, Sargent, in 1900 at age 44, seemed to hit a mid-life crisis, as he tired of the pressure of producing portraits of the rich or famous.  

At that time he transitioned to working more directly in various remote locations in the watercolor medium, with figurative and landscape motifs. Sargent reinvented himself as an artist as his work became more experimental and innovative. He traveled through the English countryside, to Venice, the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East and Africa. In his last decade he also worked from subjects in the American West, Maine and Florida. 

The current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum holds surprises for those who only know Sargent for his oil paintings in the portrait tradition. Sargent was based in London, which had an extraordinary history for watercolors. But Sargent’s watercolors were quite distinctly different from the British work.  There was more of a direct gestural component, and he introduced some opaque media along with the transparency.

The works from the Brooklyn Museum are smaller in scale, and looser in style, while Boston’s collection includes larger works, which are more finished in execution.  The visitor will see many water views of Venice, as seen from the perspective of a gondola, and Venetian architectural scenes in shimmering light.  There are also Italian gardens with statues highlighted through shimmering trees. 

A distinct group of the Brooklyn watercolors are of the Bedouins, a nomadic Arab tribe.  There are landscapes and figurative works painted during summers in the Alps.  A group of works from the Boston archives were created from his visits to the work sites of the Carrara marble quarries, near Florence, where he was inspired by the quarries’ strange and dramatic landscapes.

A featured article at gives information about the landmark exhibition, about Sargent’s background, and also provides an understanding of the technical aspects of his watercolor paintings.  The exhibition is of both historical and educational significance. The exhibition will also travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

Find out more about this exhibition of both historical and educational significance at This site provides articles, news and reviews, and resources in regard to contemporary and historical Watercolor and Watermedia.