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Boats, Venice
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Private collection
watercolor on paper 
14 x 19¾ in. (35.6 x 50.2 cm.) 
signed  ll: 'John S Sargent' 
 Jpg: Christies
From Christies 

 . . . The present work is dominated by three main aspects. The first is a line down the center of the work, defined chiefly by the prow of the near boat and its reflection. The other two consist of mirror-image diagonals that intersect at this vertical center line; at the bottom of the work the anchor line meets the seam between two of the hull's boards; at the top a boat's boom on the right cuts a diagonal into another boom, wrapped in a sail, at upper left. The careful composition belies the effortless look of this work, a stunning example of Sargent's bravura work 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. 



Robert Erskine Childers, gift of the artist, circa 1904. 
By descent in the family. 
Doll and Richards, Boston, Massachusetts, 1938. 
John Dane, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1938. 
By descent to the present owner. 


Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, 1987. 
New York, Adelson Galleries, Inc., Sargent Abroad: An Exhibition, November 7-December 13, 1997. 
Sold at Christies, New York, Dec 04, 2003; Lot 38, Sale # 1309; $164,300.00 U.S. dollars

  • See the year in review  1903 

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved

Created 11/6/2003


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