Because of the ease with which the materials can be transported, John Singer Sargent painted in watercolor throughout his travels all over the world. The artist was particularly fond of Venice and "after the turn of the century, the city of Venice became a second home for Sargent, and he returned there almost annually, painting voraciously in both oil and watercolour. " (E. Kilmurray and R. Ormond, eds., John Singer Sargent, Washington, D.C., 1999, p. 212) The extraordinary network of canals and sumptuous architecture were of endless inspiration to Sargent, and it is not surprising that many of Sargent's Venice watercolors do not incorporate a human figure, which had been so central to Sargent's early career. With virtuoso brushwork and distinctive color, the present works capture the qualities which have come to define Sargent's achievement in watercolor.
This work will be included in the forthcoming John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, in collaboration with Warren Adelson and Elizabeth Oustinoff.