John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Morning Walk. (1888).
American painter and portraitist, John Singer Sargent was first trained in Rome by Carl Welsch, then he studies into 1870 in the Art schools of Florence. In 1874 he integrates the workshop of Carolus-Duran into Paris and studies at the Art school of Paris. He becomes the friend of several artists of the time like Claude Monet, Paul Helleu, Albert Besnard, Gabriel Fauré or Edmund Gosse. Sargent is especially known for its dexterity in the portraits. It carries out the portraits of the men and the most famous, rich and powerful women of Europe or the United States. During travels in Spain (1879) and Holland (1880-1882) he discovers works of Velazquez and Franz Hals which will influence its colour. One says of him that he is a modern Van Dyck. The teaching which it receives at Carolus-Duran is different from that of the traditional workshop of Jean-Leon Gérôme, where the Americans Thomas Eakins and Julian Alden Weir study. There is thus habit in England and in the United States to reproach him a style of french painting…
Its technique is described like: “ hard and almost metal, without taste in the expression, the air, or poses ”.
Sargent knows impressionism it is a style which he knows perfectly and this painting in our opinion is a homage to the work of his friend Claude Monet.
However even if in the years 1880, it takes part in impressionist exposures and starts to paint outside after its visits with Monet, with which it buys, at that time, 4 paintings for its personal collection, the French impressionists will say of him: “ He is not an impressionist with the direction where hear we it, he is too much influenced by Carolus-Duran”. However British criticisms classify Sargent among the impressionists…
With our direction one made much error of appreciation on the work of John Singer Sargent. For its portraits of order we will see that it is much closer to Ingres and the classicism that portraitists of baroque. This exceptionally gifted of the drawing and the colour,he can imitate all the styles but only those which he admires. The Modernistic ones treat it hard, regarding it as completely disconnected from realities of the American life and the emergent artistic tendencies like the Cubism and Futurism. Sargent accepts criticism calmly but refuses to change its negative opinion concerning the Modern art. He declares that : “ Ingres, Raphaël and El Greco have all his admiration ”. The model of the painting is her sister violet. Work refers has one of the most known painting of Monet, The Walk or the Woman with the Sunshade (1875). When in 1883 Monet settles in Giverny Sargent will see it, he sees also the basin with the nymphea which will become a major topic for Monet until the end of its life. It is not a chance if Violet walks good morning in front of a basin with water lilies, in the painting of John Singer Sargent his friend Monet is there…
The point of view of the spectator is located at the level of the hands of the model.
Way of the glance.
1/ The glance is first of all attracted by the model,
2/ then he notices the stretch of water and the water lilies,
3/ In one the 3rd time the spectator is interested in the background.
The model is centered perfectly.
Violet is on the 4 natural points of interest, surrounded of the 4 tension fields of the painting.
Water and Ground.
For the landscape: 2/3 consists of water, 1/3 is devoted to the ground.
Only the model, with before plan, occupies a space located on the 3 thirds of pictorial space.
Lines. The majority of the lines are vertical or oblique. It is a walk, the model is moving. To express it Sargent represents her sister slightly ahead, the obliques of the folds of the dress give a representation of the movement and one has indeed the impression that the model is going.
Meadows it is seen well that Sargent uses the impressionist manner to outline the faces. In its portraits of order it is much more precise.
Sargent don't seek to imitate Monet in the representation of the nymphea. It does nothing but evoke it to give homage to him.
In top of work the colours used recall those of Monet in the foreground of the Woman to the Sunshade, although Sargent voluntarily uses a clearer pallet.
Monet lit his Wife with the Sunshade of back.
John Singer Sargent chooses the opposite, the model is enlightened of face.
Colours : Contrast between hot and cold colours.
Harmonize and contrasts : Contrast between hot and cold colours.
Similars Painting :
Claude Monet. The Walk or the Woman with the Sunshade. 1875.
Claude Monet. Nympheas. 1910.
John Singer Sargent. Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood. 1885.