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Ernest-Ange Duez

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Ernest-Ange Duez (1843–1896) was a painter of landscapes, figure studies, and flowers. Sargent and Duez had numerous points of contact: they exhibited together at a landmark show at the Galerie Georges Petit in December 1882; they were both ardent admirers of Édouard Manet; and they had studios next door to each other on the boulevard Berthier in Paris.
Sargent’s portrait of Duez was a gift from one painter to another. Sargent owned a study of blue hydrangeas by Duez that may represent his side of the exchange. Sargent, in turn, incorporated the same pale blue blossoms into the background of his portait of Duez. The hydrangea was introduced to Europe from Asia in the nineteenth century and became an important symbol of the rarefied, exotic, and artificial in post-Romantic art and literature.

Ernest-Ange Duez, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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