{ "objects" : [ { "embark_ID" : 293, "URL" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Objects-1/info/293", "Disp_Access_No" : "1960.003", "_AccNumSort1" : "", "Disp_Create_DT" : "ca. 1903", "_Disp_Start_Dat" : "1898", "_Disp_End_Date" : "1908", "Disp_Title" : "A Garden Vase", "Alt_Title" : "À Aranjuez, Marble Vase; Marble Vase in Spanish Gardens", "Obj_Title" : "<i>A Garden Vase</i>", "Series_Title" : "", "Disp_Maker_1" : "John Singer Sargent", "Sort_Artist" : "Sargent, John Singer", "Disp_Dimen" : "17 1/4 x 12 1/4 in. (43.82 x 31.12 cm)", "Disp_Height" : "17 1/4 in.", "Disp_Width" : "12 1/4 in.", "Dimen_Extent" : "Sheet", "Medium" : "Watercolor over graphite on paper", "Support" : "", "Disp_Medium" : "Watercolor over graphite on paper", "Info_Page_Comm" : "", "Dedication" : "Museum Purchase, 1960.003", "Copyright_Type" : "", "Disp_Obj_Type" : "Painting on paper", "Creation_Place2" : "", "Department" : "American Early", "Obj_Name" : "", "Period" : "", "Style" : "", "Edition" : "", "Curator" : "<span>2/17/21 changed medium from watercolor to watercolor over pencil to be consistent with NGA''s "Sargent and Spain" loan and catalogue. 1/11/21 Changed title and date to be consistent with R. Ormond''s catalogue entry (see below) - CFG.<br/>Purchased from M. Knoedler and Co. invoice dated 3/31/1960.<br/><br/>Note on reverse said to be in Sargent''s handwriting:”to Mrs. Sears John S. Sargent”<br/><br/>See artist file for draft of Sargent catalogue entry to be published in year 2011 by Richard Ormond, co-author.<br/><br/>JSS 1121<br/>A Garden Vase<br/>c.1903<br/>Alternative titles: À Aranjuez; Sketch; Marble Vase in Spanish Garden<br/>Water-colour on paper, over preliminary pencil, 17◊ x 12˘ in. (45 x 31.1 cm)<br/>Inscribed, lower left: to Mrs Sears John S. Sargent<br/>Inscribed on a label on the reverse, apparently in the artist''s hand and no doubt referring to the 1923 exhibition in Paris: John S. Sargent R.A. À Aranjuez Belonging to John S. Sargen 31 Tite Street <br/>Frye Art Museum, Seattle (68)<br/><br/>Provenance: Given by the artist to Mrs Montgomery (Sarah) Sears, c.1923; her daughter, Helen Sears (Mrs J.D. Cameron Bradley), 1935; M. Knoedler &amp; Co., New York, 29 December 1959 (stock no. WCA 2378); sold to the Charles and Emma Frye Art Museum, Seattle, now the Frye Art Museum, 31 May 1960.<br/><br/>Exhibitions: London 1904, no. 103; London 1905, no. 1; Paris 1923, no. 69, as ''À Aranjuez'', lent by the artist; Boston 1925, watercolors, no. 97, as ''Marble Vase in Spanish Garden'', lent by Mrs Sears; New York, MMA, 1926, watercolors, no. 56, as ''A Aranjuez''.<br/><br/>Literature: Reviews of 1904 exhibition (from press cuttings volumes, archives of the Royal Watercolour Society, Bankside Gallery, London, RWS P 5 &amp; 6): '' Royal Society of Painters in Water Colour'', Daily Telegraph, 13 April 1904; ''The Centenary Exhibition of the Old Water-Colour Painters'', Guardian, 20 April 1904; ''Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours'', Liverpool Courier, 8 April 1904; ''Royal Water-Colour Society. Centenary Exhibition'', Morning Post, 9 April 1904; ''Society of Painters in Water Colours, Standard, 8 April 1904; B.N., ''Royal Society of Water-Colour Painters'', Westminster Gazette, 11 April 1904.<br/>Reviews of 1905 exhibition: ''Sargent''s Water-Colours'', Daily Telegraph, 30 March 1905; ''Mr Sargent''s Pictures in London'', Manchester Guardian, 1 April 1905, p. 9; A.M., ''The Carfax Gallery'', Pall Mall Gazette, 30 April 1905, p. 2.<br/>Boston 1925, p. 25, as ''Marble Vase in Spanish Garden''.<br/>Other references: Downes 1925, 1926, p. 281, as ''Sketch'', and p. 285, as ''À Aranjuez''; Boston 1925, p. 25; New York 1926, p. 14, as ''A Aranjuez''.<br/><br/>This is one of a pair of eighteenth century marble vases in the Jardín del Parterre that faces the east front of the royal palace of Aranjuez, south of Madrid. The Parterre garden was laid out by the French designer, Etienne Boutelou, in the early 1730s. Aranjuez, one of the great royal palaces of Spain with a history going back to the Middle Ages, was extensively remodelled by Philip V in the early eighteenth century. Dating back to the sixteenth century, the gardens cover a vast area, and are among the most important in Spain.<br/> It is interesting to note that here and at the royal palace of La Granja, Sargent''s eye was caught by elegant vases and sculptures in the French classical style (see JSS 366, 1220). Now as then the vases in the Jardín del Parterre are surrounded by dense greenery (see fig. 000). Sargent''s exploits the play of light through branches and trees to brilliant effect. The elegant, gleaming form of the vase, with its mask head, scrollwork and festoon of flowers, stands out against an explosion of slashing green and blue strokes of colour that capture the shimmering, fleeting effects of sunlight on a hot summer day. The vase appears to melt into, and become part of, the surrounding foliage in this Impressionist, light-filled rendering.<br/> Reviews of the 1904 exhibition of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours leave little doubt that this was the water-colour exhibited there under its present title. It was one of five sketches he contributed to the Society for the first time in 1904, being elected an associate member at the same time. According to one critic, they killed everything else on the walls (Guardian, 20 April 1904). A Garden Vase came in for its share of praise:<br/>''It is brilliant, powerful - yet abandoned too obviously at the stage of a suggestion'' (Standard); ''a deft sketch reflecting the play of direct and reflected light'' (Morning Post); ''positively startling in its reality and vigour of effect, obtained by the utmost simplicity of handling . . . ostentatious economy of means'' (Westminster Gazette); ''depicted in chequered sunshine and shadow of a dazzlingly bright southern day, its fair sculpted surface overshadowed by the foliage of an Italian garden'' (Daily Telegraph). <br/>The water-colour appeared a year later in Sargent''s one-man show of water-colours at the Carfax Gallery in London, where it again excited notice:<br/>In “A Garden Vase”, which has been seen at the Watercolour Society''s, the shadow on white has extraordinary beauty - a shadow into which the sun is reflected and re-reflected. The subtlety and delicacy of this light-and-shade are beyond praise; and what mastery of materials is proved by so radiant an effort evoked from colours and plain white paper - colours of which the white of white paper is the highest! The vitality of the hand and eye to which we owe this astonishing piece of work is indeed a master''s. There is nothing quite so lifeless as lifeless water-colour; but nothing more living than such water-colour as this. The drawing is the more precious for the beauty of its subject, for how much of the loveliness of the South, and of the summer day everywhere, is made by reflected we hardly sufficiently consider. It is not too much a paradox to say that the brightness of shadows is the charm of sunshine; it certainly brings sunshine into painting. Nor is there anything more beautiful than the light golden-grey of a sun-shadow. Everywhere in Mr Sargent''s watercolours, especially in great light, the effacement, the lost-and-found, is effected with wonderful sensitiveness and perception.<br/> The water-colour was lent by the artist to an exhibition of American art in Paris in 1923, under the title, ''À Aranjuez''. He must have given it very shortly afterwards to Mrs Montgomery Sears (born Sarah Carlisle Choate, 1858-1935). She was an artist, photographer and art collector, who travelled frequently to Paris and lived there for a time after the death of her husband, a property owner and real estate developer. She was an adventurous art collector, acquiring works by Mary Cassatt, Cezanne, Degas, Manet, and Matisse. Sargent had painted formal portraits of her and her daughter, Helen Sears, in the 1890s, and they had become good friends. In addition to this water-colour, Mrs Sears owned two important oil paintings by Sargent, Femme en barque (c.1885, private collection), and Glacier Streams (c.1910, Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts), as well as several water-colours, Viano do Castelo, Portugal (JSS 95), Woods in Maine (1922, private collection, on loan to Portland Museum of Art, Maine), and Fresh Snow (c,1910, untraced).</span>", "Images": [ { "ImagePath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/images/1960.003_Low-Res.jpg", "ThumbnailPath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/Thumbnails/1960.003_Low-Res.jpg", "PreviewPath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/Previews/1960.003_Low-Res.jpg", "IIIF_URL": "http://iiif.gallerysystems.com/1960.003_Low-Res.jpg", "IsPrimary" : "1", "_SurrogateID" : "10762", "Image_Type" : "", "Photo_Credit" : "", "Remarks" : "", "View" : "" } , ] }, ] }