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In a Medici Villa

John Singer Sargent

American Art

The setting for this vividly bright watercolor was the classical Renaissance garden at the Villa Medici di Castello, designed by Niccolò Tribolo to extol Cosimo de’ Medici’s reign over the nearby city of Florence. The garden was laid out on an incline, with geometrically designed box and herb hedges as a backdrop for grand fountains by Benedetto Varchi. Although Sargent featured the imposing Hercules and Antaeus fountain, he summarily cropped away the two battling bronze figures at its top and nearly erased the smaller bronze boys perched on the edge of the lower basin. He directed his eye to transcribe only the bleached outlines and tinted shadows of the wide basins and decorative stone carvings in the raking glare.
MEDIUM Translucent watercolor and touches of opaque watercolor with graphite underdrawing
DATES 1906
DIMENSIONS 21 3/16 x 14 3/8in. (53.8 x 36.5cm) frame: 36 1/4 x 28 1/4 x 1 7/8 in. (92.1 x 71.8 x 4.8 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Purchased by Special Subscription
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION John Singer Sargent (American, born Italy, 1856-1925). In a Medici Villa, 1906. Translucent watercolor and touches of opaque watercolor with graphite underdrawing, 21 3/16 x 14 3/8in. (53.8 x 36.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by Special Subscription, 09.826 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 09.826_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 09.826_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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