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John Singer Sargent, The Bridge of Sighs, c. 1903–04, translucent and opaque watercolor with graphite and red-pigmented underdrawing, Brooklyn Museum, purchased by Special Subscription.

“Shimmering Colours and Sliding Forms”: John Singer Sargent’s Venetian Watercolors

Friday, Apr 04, 2014
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions

Presented by Kaylin Weber, assistant curator, American painting and sculpture.

John Singer Sargent’s society portraits of the late 19th century encapsulated the Gilded Age and brought him international fame. Though it was in watercolor that Sargent found his true passion and immersed himself in beloved subjects, capturing informal scenes of nature, family, architecture, and landscape from such diverse places as Italy, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and United States.

Venice held a particular fascination for the Italian-born American artist. The city’s inherent aqueous character and glistening light was well-suited to Sargent’s preferred medium, and he painted hundreds of watercolors of the city. Ignoring the sweeping panoramas and pageantry that enthralled his artistic predecessors, he captured vivid, unique slices of the city and its architecture with extraordinary fluidity. Kaylin Weber explores Sargent’s private passion for watercolor and the beauty and technique of his famed Venetian watercolors.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with John Singer Sargent: The Watercolors.

About the Friday and Saturday Afternoon Lecture Series
This series of lectures is held on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. with a repeat on Saturdays at 4 p.m. in Brown Auditorium Theater. A reception to meet the speaker and a “Your Turn to Speak” tour follow each lecture.

$5 MFAH Members
$8 Nonmembers + Museum admission
Free for Members at the Patron, Supporting, Sponsor, and Benefactor levels, up to two tickets. Leadership Circle members receive unlimited free tickets.
Secure your seat in advance! Use the "Get Tickets" button above and print at home; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Friday and Saturday Afternoon Lectures at the MFAH receive generous support from Aggie and Joe Foster.

Special thanks to Adept Word Management for transcription services.

All education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by Caroline Wiess Law; The National Endowment for the Humanities; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.