John Singer Sargent American
Not on view
Like "Tyrolese Interior," shown nearby, this watercolor was painted during the late summer or autumn of 1914 when Sargent was detained in the Tyrol after Britain and France declared war on Austria. Overtly religious symbols are rare in Sargent’s watercolors. This depiction of a carved crucifixion reflects his somber and foreboding mood as he waited to obtain the necessary travel documents to return to London. Roofed crosses were common sites in the Tyrol. Erected along roadsides or open fields, sometimes commemorative in function, such shrines served as spots of prayer and worship for travelers. Sargent exploits a low vantage point to render the lifeless, gaunt figure of Christ against a gnarled tree trunk.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.