An Out-of-Doors Study
Here and in other oils from the late 1880s, Sargent experimented with portrait compositions whose informality and naturalness stood in sharp contrast to his commissioned studio portraits of elegant and decorously posed society types. Inspired in part by the Impressionist works of his friend Claude Monet, this portrait depicts another French artist friend, Paul Helleu, and his young wife, Alice, settled in the grass at Fladbury, in England’s Cotswolds. Liberated from pictorial conventions, Sargent here featured the compositional asymmetry, natural light, and casual inattention of his “sitters” that would characterize his portraits in watercolor after 1900.
- 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 American Identities: A New Look, Expanding Horizons, 5th 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%)