The landscape surrounding Nice is
one of hills, canyons and rivers. Painted from 1883 to 1884, Landscape
View Near Nice depicts a hilly town [I'm not sure it's a town, but at least
a building] and superbly demonstrates John Singer Sargent's fresh and original
approach to plein air painting. A rich mix of color, textures and light,
the work exhibits Sargent's early mastery of Impressionist techniques.
Quick dashes of yellow pigment and soft green paint infuse the scene with
a distinct afternoon light that highlight the tree tops scattered throughout
the scene. The imposing hillside, composed of broader strokes of fluid
paint, sweeps down from the right side of the composition and draws one's
eye into the depth of space to find a quiet grove of trees in the background.
The spontaneity of the brushwork suggests that he worked rapidly, perhaps
racing to apply the paint before the setting sun disappeared behind the
The painting had been offered for sale at Spanierman Gallery, in New York, as late as 2002 (I think they are the last owners). It was at that time incorrectly titled "Landscape near Grasse". I assume it was mislabled. Charteris, in his list of work identifies an oil painting of this size under the name "Landscape View Near Nice".
Offered but did not sell at Christies, New York, Rockefeller Plaza; December 5, 2002; Lot 88, Sale # 1124; Estimate $300,000 - $500,000