- Gallery Text
After visiting Spain in 1879, Sargent began a series of works on the subject of the flamenco performance. This lively oil sketch of passionate musicians is among the dozens of studies Sargent produced in preparation for a series of grand multifigure compositions, the largest and most important of which, El Jaleo (1882), is in the collection of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Thinly painted on buff-colored ground, the study opens insight into Sargent’s process. Apparently working quickly, he executed the figures to varying degrees of finish. Certain details like the white dress of the clapping dancer are emphasized, while other aspects are only cursorily drawn.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
John Singer Sargent, American (Florence, Italy 1856 - 1925 London, England)
- Study for Seated Figures for "El Jaleo"
- Work Type
- c. 1882
- Creation Place: North America, United States
Level 2, Room 2700, European and American Art, 19th century, Impressionism and the Late Nineteenth Century
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- Physical Descriptions
- Oil on canvas
- 65.4 x 81.3 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)
framed: 80.3 x 96.5 x 7.6 cm (31 5/8 x 38 x 3 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- label: back of canvas, paper, printed and typed: [printed:] Scott & Fowles / 680 Fifth Avenue / (bet. 53rd & 54th Sts.) / New York / Cable Address "Scoles, New York" / [typed:] A study for El Jaleo painted by John S. Sargent / This study was presented by the Painter to his friend Renaudot, the / Paris Sculptor, and was recently disposed of in London by Renaudot's widow 1927
- label: back of canvas, paper and black ink, printed and handwritten: [printed:] Scott & Fowles / 680 Fifth Ave / New York / No. [handwritten:] 787
- Gift of the artist to Jules François Gabriel Renaudot, Paris; to his wife, Mme. Renaudot (at his death?); her sale, Christie's, London, June 24, 1927, lot 82; purchased by David Croal Thomson, London; Scott and Fowles, New York; purchased by Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, 1932 [Winthrop paid $3500]; his bequest to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
- The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
- The Harvard Art Museum owns a number of drawings by Sargent relating to this theme, including 1937.8.2, 1937.8.12 (pen and wash sketches of dancer with seated figures), and 1937.8.22, a version of the figure at center of this composition. The finished painting is at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.
- Publication History
Evan Charteris, John Sargent, Charles Scribner's Sons (New York, NY, 1927), p. 282
Charles Merrill Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, W. W. Norton & Company (New York, NY, 1955), no. K8223
Richard Ormond, "Sargent's El Jaleo", Fenway Court, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA, 1970), p. 15, repr. p. 16 as fig. 14
Richard Ormond, John Singer Sargent: Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors, Harper & Row (New York, NY and London, England, 1970), p. 238
David Sellin, American Art in the Making: Preparatory Studies for Masterpieces of American Painting, 1800-1900, exh. cat., Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington DC, 1976), p. 66, repr. p. 68 as fig. 100
John Singer Sargent, His Own Work, exh. cat., Coe Kerr Gallery, Inc. (New York, NY, 1980), in checklist, unpaginated
Kate F. Jennings, John Singer Sargent, Crescent Books (New York, NY, 1991), repr. in b/w, p. 9
Mary Crawford Volk, John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1992), catalogue no. 47, p. 186, repr. in color p. 187
Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1874-1882, Yale University Press (New Haven and London, 2006), no. 773, repr.; p. 268, no. 6
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (U.S.) (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 298-99, cat. no. 315, reproduced in b&w, p. 299
- Exhibition History
For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004
HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 10 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/15/2010 - 11/06/2010
HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 11 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 10/07/2011 - 11/05/2011
32Q: 2700 Impressionism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/14/2017 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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