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Sargent's Venice based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Richard Ormond has collected the watercolors and drawings and oil paintings that were John Singer Sargent's response to that most mystical and romantic of cities - Venice, Italy - from two separate periods of time in Sargent's prolific career. The selected works are from a fecund period from 1880 to 1882 and the second even larger body of works date from his visits there from 1900 to 1913. Comparing the two periods is illuminating on many levels, but despite the separation in time, Sargent's manner of capturing the magic that is Serenissima is unmatched in works of other artists. That Sargent was influenced by his friend and colleague Henry James is patently obvious. Were the reader to read 'The Aspern Papers' along with this picture voyage through the canals and paths of Venice the feeling of actually being there in time and place would be unavoidable. Sargent seems more comfortable in the aqueous métier of watercolor for the views and atmosphere of Venice. He manages to paint the fogs and mists that rise from this water city, to reflect the relaxed tranquility of the people within the island, and he is attuned to the alterations of light as it strikes and reflects off the water, altering the subject matter in a way only those who have been to Venice can appreciate fully. Along with the mood of the works elegantly reproduced in this volume is Ormond's narrative. He has selected photographs of many of the places Sargent painted, allowing the reader to appreciate the interpretation Sargent achieved in his artist impression as well as in his keen observational skills. This is a book of languid beauty, one that will satisfy on many levels. Very Highly Recommended. Grady Harp