John Singer Sargent - Bus Horses in Jerusalem, 1905

John Singer Sargent (Florence, 1856 - 1925, London)

Bus Horses in Jerusalem, 1905

Watercolor on paper, 40 x 52 cm (15 3/4 x 20 1/2 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Isabella Stewart Gardner purchased from John Singer Sargent, London on 7 January 1907 for £40.


Signed and inscribed in ink (bottom right): John S Sargent Jerusalem / 1905
Inscribed in pencil (verso): 1007

Dimension Notes

Frame: 50 cm x 65.8 cm (19 11/16 in. x 25 7/8 in.)


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 35.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 228-29.
Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray. John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1900-1907 (New Haven, 2012), pp. 158-59, no. 1284.

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Horses have always fascinated artists. Here, Sargent renders these working horses with elegance and dignity. Less interested in the beauty of one single horse, Sargent chose an angle from which he was able to see the repeating forms of multiple backs. As Sargent stated in a letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner, he was drawn to the romantic appeal of the subject during a trip to the Middle East.

Source: Oliver Tostmann and Anne-Marie Eze, The Inscrutable Eye: Watercolors by John Singer Sargent in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Collection, exhibition on view in the Museum's Fenway Gallery, October 31, 2013–January 20, 2014.