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The Sketchers

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Painted in the environs of San Vigilio, on the shores of Lake Garda in Italy, this picture depicts two of Sargent’s sketching companions at work. The man with his back to us is Wilfrid de Glehn (1870–1951), who, with his wife, Jane, features in many of Sargent’s studies. The woman in the picture, long thought to be Jane, is almost certainly American painter Mary Foote (1872–1968), who knew Jane from their student days in Paris. Here, Sargent expresses his view of what constitutes value in art: the world of nature brought to life on canvas through the artist’s observing eye. The scene is bathed in warm sunlight and cool shadow. We peer over Wilfred’s shoulder to witness the creation of his work, and Sargent concentrates on Mary’s gesture as she reaches toward her unseen canvas, brush in hand.

The Sketchers, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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