Currently on View in Andrew and Jane Paine Galleries (K212)
Occupying over half the picture plane, the olive trees’ majestic gray foliage creates a poetic calm over the spiraling tree trunks and activity of the people below. Sargent’s energetic, Impressionist brushstrokes have been highlighted by a recent cleaning of the painting.
Sargent is largely remembered for interiors and figure painting. In the early 20th century the artist turned increasingly to landscape painting, touring the Alps and the Mediterranean to escape the constant demands of wealthy clients seeking portraits.
Previously thought to depict a picnic, The Olive Grove shows villagers gathering olives and was probably painted on the Greek isle of Corfu during one of Sargent’s trips to the Mediterranean.