PREVIEW: Sargent: The Watercolours, Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Dulwich Picture Gallery will focus on John Singer Sargent’s longest period of watercolour work, between 1900 and 1918. 

KEY_35 The Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice_smaller.jpg

The Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice. c 1904-09, John Singer Sargent (c) Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. Photograph by Catarina Gomes Ferreira. 

This Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibition will be the first major UK exhibition to focus on the American artist’s watercolour work since 1918 and will feature a key selection of work on loan from over 30 lenders.

Works that have been loaned for the exhibition will include The lady with the umbrella, 1911 which has never been displayed in the UK before and will offer a new perspective on the artist.

The new exhibition will bring together eighty works from Sargent’s greatest period of watercolour painting between 1900 and 1918. It will be arranged thematically and aims to showcase the artist’s landscapes, architectural structures and figurative scenes to draw attention to the most radical aspects of his work.

Richard Ormond, co-curator of the exhibition, said:“In Sargent’s watercolours we see his zest for life and his pleasure in the act of painting. The fluency and sensuality of his paint surfaces, and his wonderful command of light, never cease to astonish us. With this exhibition we hope to demonstrate Sargent’s mastery of the medium and the scale of his achievement”.

While Sargent was predominantly known for being a  leading portraitist of his generation, he mastered watercolour painting from an early age and constantly referred to it during his career.

This display will open with a focus on his fragments and close-ups, before examining his depictions of cities, landscapes and his figurative paintings.

Loans for the exhibition will come from leading UK institutions such as Tate, The British Museum, The Fitzwilliam, The Imperial War Museum and The Ashmolean, alongside works rarely seen from numerous private collections. Key loans will also come from European institutions; Museu de Montserrat, Abadia de Montserrat, Barcelona; the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon and the Petit Palais, Musee de Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris.

The exhibition is curated by Richard Ormond (Sargent’s grand-nephew) and Elaine Kilmurray (art historian, author and curator).

Sargent: The Watercolours will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 21st June until the 8th October. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2017/june/sargent-the-watercolours/