Exhibitions: John Singer Sargent Watercolors

Sargent’s likeness of his adored niece Rose-Marie Ormond comes as close as any of his watercolors to his grand, aristocratic “swagger” portraits in oil. It has their characteristic sense of sweeping movement, conveyed here by her turned head and billowing gown, and the gestural description of the backdrop. Sargent delineated the features delicately, while ignoring the fine pencil lines of the underdrawing. He wrapped the figure in a cashmere shawl (a favorite prop), using deft strokes guided by drawing to suggest Rose-Marie’s grasp of the shawl from within its folds and to echo the triangular shape of her bonnet.