John Singer Sargent’s A Capriote

March 28, 2014

Sometimes you forget just how much you love a painting. After looking at so many, those that are most beautiful can easily slip from your mind. The other day I was wandering the MFA in Boston with a friend, when this gorgeous woman appeared in my vision.

A Capriote, John Singer Sargent

A Capriote, John Singer Sargent


I have seen this painting many times and make a point to visit her when I am in Boston, but my mind’s eye had forgotten her. I love the way she is draped across the branch, as if she were a dress hung while the woman was taking a dip in the river. She becomes part of the landscape; she appears to be a part of the tree with the stump becoming a limb to her.

The palate and painterly application create this dreamscape. The lack of saturation in the palate creates a hazy space, a dreamy space. The expression on the young woman’s face is that of a day dreamer. Because she is at a distance from us, she eludes us. She is out of reach. Does she see us? Is she smirking at us or at a thought of her own? Is she even real? She is the gatekeeper of the dreamworld. The flowers in the foreground are the doorway. Will you enter?

To zoom in on this image visit her on Google Art Project.

Look. Listen. Respond.



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