John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Watercolor and graphite on white wove paper
12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915
Not on view
Sargent translates a monochromatic subject—a carved stone relief—into a dazzling study of saturated golden light on pale stone. The composition was thoroughly planned in a graphite underdrawing, which Sargent then obscured with his seemingly effortless, free application of pigment. The escutcheon represents the heraldic insignia of Emperor Charles V of Spain. It is located on a fountain on the exterior fortification walls of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, where Sargent painted in 1912.
Inscription: [at upper right]: John S. Sargent; [on verso at center right]: 1577
the artist, until d. 1925; his sisters, Mrs. Francis Ormond (Violet Sargent) and Miss Emily Sargent, until 1936 (Emily Sargent's death); Mrs. Francis Ormond, until 1950