John Singer Sargent - Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, 1903-1907

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

Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, 1903-1907

Watercolor on paper, 34.9 x 53.5 cm (13 3/4 x 21 1/16 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Gift from John Singer Sargent to Alice Faraday (1847–1952), widow of the English artist Frederick Barnard (1846–1896) in 1903–1907.
Robinson & Farr, Philadelphia.
Sold to M. Knoedler & Co., New York on 27 December 1915. [ as "The Giudecca, Venice" (stock book, no. WC 1032)]
Ehrich Galleries, New York, December 1916.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the gallery Doll & Richards, Boston on 26 October 1916 for $1,250. (as "The Giudecca, Venice")


Signed in ink (bottom right): John S. Sargent
Inscribed in ink (verso): 1374; 4

Dimension Notes

Frame: 55 cm x 70 cm (21 5/8 in. x 27 9/16 in.)


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 35.
David McKibbin. "Sargent's Water-Colours of Venice at Fenway Court." Fenway Court (1970), pp. 19-25, fig 1.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 230-31.
Elizabeth Anne McCauley et al. Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2004), p. 157, fig. 107.

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By depicting the back of Santa Maria della Salute, Sargent renders this iconic Venetian site from an unusual, less formal perspective. The cropped view of fishing boats moored in the Giudecca Canal suggests the spontaneity of a modern snapshot. With its golden sunlight and striking composition, this is one of Sargent’s most brilliant watercolors.

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.