4/16/09

John Singer Sargent Vol.6: Venetian Figures and Landscapes



Hot off the presses, this gorgeous book arrived on my doorstep this morning. I pre-ordered it from Amazon.com in January.  Delightful from cover to cover, this is one book not to miss, especially if you love watercolors.  While not referencing watercolors in the title, a majority of the paintings are indeed watercolors of Venice.  

I've often wondered if Sargent really painted only one version of Santa Maria della Salute, as only one watercolor of the subject ever seems to find it's way into books. This volume resoundingly answers that question with at least 3 oils and 10 watercolors of Santa Maria della Salute, viewed from different angles. In fact, there are numerous suites of watercolors of the same subject revealed throughout this book.  

It's both instructive and satisfying to view so many previously unpublished watercolor masterpieces. Moreover, one simply feels so energized to see how Sargent, endowed and gifted with so much talent, still worked diligently- perhaps almost every waking moment- to accomplish the great legacy of work that he left behind.


2 comments:

Olha Pryymak said...

wow, what a coincidence, I have just been pouring over a similar book - it's called Sargent watercolors I think - he is a true inspiration indeed!

Btw this book cover came up as a post on DP, by mistake I think?

-fellow DPr

Joan DaGradi said...

Thanks, Olha! I'll delete the entry on DP. I may have have noticed it eventually.....

There are 2 other books of Sargent Watercolors currently available. The one by Donelson Hoopes was first published in 1970 and has fantastic reproductions. You can get a cheap copy at Amazon, ebay or www.abebooks.com. The second book, "The Watercolors of John Singer Sargent" by Carl Little is more recent. I sometimes wonder about the color veracity of Mr. Little's volume.

Sargent has been an immense inspiration for me. His casually perfect perspective of the buildings of Venice, while remaining painterly and gorgeous, has in a way opened my eyes to the possibilities of claiming New Orleans as my own Venice.

His incredible work ethic is something to aspire to.