John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Oil on canvas
22 1/4 x 28 in. (56.5 x 71.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1910
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 770
Sargent’s sister described Padre Sebastiano, whom the artist met while on holiday at Giomein, a village in the Italian Alps, as a “botanizing priest.” Sargent captured the cleric’s thoughtful demeanor and conveyed his interest in nature by showing him making notes about the flowers that cover the table in his cluttered bedroom. The Metropolitan purchased this painting directly from the artist in 1910. It represents a noteworthy departure from Sargent’s formal commissioned portraits.