John Singer Sargent - San Giuseppe di Castello, Venice, about 1903

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

San Giuseppe di Castello, Venice, about 1903

Watercolor on paper , 30.6 x 45.8 cm (12 1/16 x 18 1/16 in.)


The different shades of the water, the brightness of the light and the dense urban architecture of Venice were elements that fascinated Sargent throughout his life. In this drawing, he turns a rather unspectacular neighborhood into a miraculous metaphor for the romantic appeal of Venice. His passion for the city apparently did not extend to its inhabitants: note, how little interest he showed in depicting the figures on the bridge.

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.