Archive for January, 2014

The Sargent watercolor exhibit which I did a post on when it was at the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art is now in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts.  They did an interview with Richard Ormand, Sargent’s grandnephew who is, perhaps, the foremost  Sargent scholar.  It was he who organized a show years ago that probably is responsible for the rescue of Sargent’s reputation.   The video is focused on the watercolors in the exhibit more or less but is, of course, more biographical and family oriented than technical.  Ormand gives a fascinating description of the life of a group of wealthy people who moved to different places in Europe (Paris, the South of France or Italy, Switzerland in the summer) with the seasons which Sargent’s family also did (but were not wealthy.)

One of the remarks I like is that when Ormand and a group of scholars were trying to put together all of Sargent’s Venice watercolors for the catalog raissoinee, it occurred to Ormand that there were no watercolors of Saint Marks (which is on the main square and a landmark in Venice — with a lot of pigeons.)  Then he realized the answer was that it wasn’t on the water.  It seems that Sargent did all of his watercolors from gondoliers.   The one under the Rialto Bridge (and the oil from the same spot) is also strange for the same reason because the bridge is such an imposing sight from land.  You also get to see one of Sargent’s sister’s watercolors.  Apparently several years ago a relative found a trunk with 500 of them.

You can find the video here.

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