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George McCulloch 
(Father to Alexander)
On His Holidays
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Lady Lever Art Gallery
Port Sunlight Village, England. 
Oil on canvas 
135.9 x 242.6 cm (53 1/2 x 95 1/2 in.)
Jpg: Local
(click on the image to step closer)
The painting is of Alexander McCulloch (1887 - 1951). He was with his father George McCulloch (thumbnail) and John during a trip  to the Sundal Valley in Norway in 1901. Alexander was something like 14 years old at the time and Sargent paints him with his school cap on.  

When you see this thing in a gallery, it's huge and nearly takes up a whole wall. At almost two and a half meters across (almost 8 feet), the painting gives you an incredable feeling of being right there on the water with him. Sargent has been able to capture the force and motion of the water. You can almost hear this painting. 

For John, the challenge was multi-facited. In one sense, it's a landscape painting on a stream, but it is more than that. The size of this canvas also lends itself to a deliberate portrait, and even a still-life of caught fish towards the right of the canvas which, when you really think about it, isn't too dissimilar to the one of the more than a hundred still-lifes of dead fish done by William Merritt Chase which he was famous for. 

William Merritt Chase. 

Still Life with Fish and Plate



By:  Natasha Wallace
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Created 5/30/2002