Sargent: The Watercolours

With every artist, there’s the work that they’re best known for—Van Gogh’s sunflowers, Tracey Emin’s bed, Jeff Koons’s balloon animals—and then there’s everything else. While the former swallows the scholarship and the column inches, lesser-known works are relegated and often dismissed altogether. For Anglo-American painter John Sargent, best known for his portraits, this is the fate of his watercolours, previously considered merely as travel souvenirs. Dulwich Picture Gallery is arguing for a reinterpretation of that position with their new 80-piece exhibition of watercolour paintings undertaken by Sargent across Europe, from Venice to the Alps. Co-curated with Sargent’s great nephew Richard Ormond and drawing on public and private collections, this is the first exhibition of his watercolours on British soil in nearly 100 years, and the Gallery is confident you’ll see both “a technical brilliance and striking individuality”.

Sargent: The Watercolours (21 June – 8 October), Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD (020 8693 5254); @dulwichgallery


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