John Singer Sargent, “Simplon Pass: Reading,” circa 1911, opaque and translucent watercolor and wax resist with graphite underdrawing, 201/16 by 141/16 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund. Photograph©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

John Singer Sargent, “Simplon Pass: Reading,” circa 1911, opaque and translucent watercolor and wax resist with graphite underdrawing, 201/16 by 141/16 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund. Photograph©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


October 13, 2013 – January 20, 2014 – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Presenting more than 90 of Sargent’s dazzling works, this exhibition, co-organized with the Brooklyn Museum, combines for the first time the two most significant collections of watercolor paintings by John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), images created by a consummate artist with daring compositional strategies and a complex technique. “John Singer Sargent Watercolors” also celebrates a century of Sargent watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

John Singer Sargent, Villa di MarVilla-di-Marlia-Luccalia, Lucca, A Fountain, 1910 - Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

John Singer Sargent, Villa di MarVilla-di-Marlia-Luccalia, Lucca, A Fountain, 1910 – Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Visitors will have an unprecedented opportunity to view the magnificent works Sargent produced between 1902 and 1911, when he was at the height of his artistic powers and internationally recognized as the greatest American painter of his age. His bold and experimental approach to the medium caused a sensation in Britain and great excitement in America. These daringly conceived compositions (along with a select group of oils), made in Spain and Portugal, Greece, Switzerland and the Alps, regions of Italy, Syria and Palestine, demonstrate the unity of Sargent’s artistic vision after the turn of the 20th century, when he sought to liberate himself from the burden of portrait commissions and to devote himself instead to painting scenes of landscape, labor, and leisure.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston