John Singer Sargent - A Tent in the Rockies, about 1916

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

A Tent in the Rockies, about 1916

Watercolor on paper, 38 x 52 cm (14 15/16 x 20 1/2 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the gallery Doll & Richards, Boston on 26 October 1916 for $325.


Signed in ink (bottom left): John S. Sargent

Dimension Notes

Frame: 64 cm x 77.5 cm (25 3/16 x 30 1/2 in.)


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 33.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 231-32.
Rebecca W. Karo. “Ah Wilderness! Sargent in the Rockies, 1916.” Fenway Court (1976), pp. 20-29.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), pp. 206-7.
Kathleen A. Foster. American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent. Exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017), pp. 328-29, fig. 281.

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Sargent began many of his watercolors with careful pencil drawings that laid out the overall composition of each picture. If you look closely you can see traces of pencil in the folds of the tent’s opening. Light and shade effects, however, were rarely indicated through pencil under-drawings. Sargent would leave that to the skill of his brush in mixing colors, giving his watercolors their fresh beauty.