Watch our exhibition preview video presented by co-curator and Sargent's Grand-Nephew Richard Ormond.
The first UK show in nearly 100 years devoted to watercolours by the Anglo-American artist, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).
Renowned as the portraitist of his generation, Sargent also devoted time to developing his talent in watercolour, undertaking several painting expeditions to Europe in the early twentieth century. Free from the constraints of his studio he was able to take inspiration from the places he visited – from the streams and glacial moraines in The Alps to the renaissance and baroque architecture he explored in Venice. Working en plein air, Sargent developed a distinctive way of seeing and composing, his subjects often appearing fragmented and disorienting – an expression of his personal, modern aesthetic.
Frequently dismissed as travel souvenirs, Sargent’s watercolours dazzle with light and colour, demonstrating a technical brilliance and striking individuality, offering an alternative perspective on the artist. This exhibition brings together 80 paintings from private and public collections, revealing Sargent’s idiosyncratic view of the world and the scale of his achievement.