Santa Maria della Salute

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925)

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Sargent's watercolors of Venice were described as "snap-shots," like photographs taken with the then novel invention of the portable Kodak camera. Understandably, Martin Hardie described Sargent's watercolors in 1930 as "fragmentary, fortuitous, impromptu studies," but this pencil drawing of the steps leading to Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal, found by chance adhered to the underside of the watercolor of Rio Dei Mendicanti, would suggest that Sargent's approach was much more studied and deliberate than the fleeting impression the watercolors give.

Several watercolors and an oil painting of 1909 were based on this pencil drawing.

Object Information

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925)
creation date
about 1909
pencil on off-white paper
14-1/2 x 20-1/2 in
accession number
credit line
Mary B. Milliken Fund
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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