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Garden Study of the Vickers Children

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Dorothy (ca. 1878–1949) and Billy (1879–1939) were the children of Albert and Edith Vickers, Sargent’s most important British patrons in the 1880s. This is one of several informal portraits Sargent created during his stay at the family’s home in Sussex. The two young children appear in an indeterminate garden setting. Sargent tilts the picture plane and eliminates the horizon to create a flat space. The lilies seem to float on the verdant field, producing a highly decorative effect. The association between children and lilies (a symbol of innocence and purity) places the image in a Victorian context, while the unorthodox composition evokes the work of such diverse artists as Édouard Manet and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Garden Study of the Vickers Children, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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