An Out-of-Doors Study
A leader among late nineteenth-century society portrait painters, John Singer Sargent also painted compelling landscape and figure subjects, including this image of his friend Paul César Helleu (1859–1927) and his wife, Alice. An Out-of-Doors Study was the product of one of Sargent's extended visits to the Broadway artists' colony in the Cotswolds, England, where he experimented with plein-air (out-of-doors) work and a freer, Impressionist-inspired technique. Although he employed loose, lively brushwork throughout the image, Sargent carefully orchestrated the picture, employing a firm compositional structure of converging diagonal lines: the canoe, pole, canvas edge, and figural forms. Having begun the painting out-of-doors, he undoubtedly finished it in his studio, where he probably referred to a photograph of the couple similarly posed. His cropping of forms at the picture's edge adds to the modern, "snapshot" quality of the image.
- Artist: John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: 1889
- Dimensions: 25 15/16 x 31 3/4 in. (65.9 x 80.7 cm) Frame: 41 1/2 x 48 5/8 x 6 in. (105.4 x 123.5 x 15.2 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed lower right: "John S. Sargent"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery, 4th Floor
- Accession Number: 20.640
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). An Out-of-Doors Study, 1889. Oil on canvas, 25 15/16 x 31 3/4 in. (65.9 x 80.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 20.640
- Record Completeness: Best (87%)