This online gallery facilitates the exploration of John Singer Sargent’s Watercolors exhibition previously at the MFA. Students will have the opportunity to examine his techniques and the key themes within his work.
Description: The MFA has co-organized the exhibition John Singer Sargent's Watercolors with the Brooklyn Museum. This is the first time the two significant institutional collections have been combined. The exhibition offered the unprecedented opportunity to view over 80 of the brilliant watercolors Sargent produced between 1905 and 1911. The John Singer Sargent's Watercolors exhibition was on view from October 13, 2013 - January 20, 2014. Born in Italy to American parents, Sargent was a successful portrait painter on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to his many portrat paintings, he enjoyed the freedom of the more personal and experimental medium of watercolor. Sargent's watercolor paintings became some of his most beloved words, as they show his mastery of complex techniques and capture the effects of light and shadows. These watercolor paintings depicted scenes of landscape, labor, and leisure, as opposed to the portrait commissions with which his success originated.
This online gallery supports the exhibition. It provides teachers with gallery activities that introduce students to the exhibition, to Sargent and key themes within his work.
In exploring this lesson, students will:
- Discover John Singer Sargent's watercolor techniques and his emphasis on light and shadow
- Consider the connections between John Singer Sargent's paintings and society at the time
This discovery will require students to:
- Look closely and make observations about the paintings
- Form opinions grounded in visual evidence from the paintings
Using this Resource:
- Visual arts teachers and students will be interested in examining the style and techniques that John Singer Sargent used in his watercolor paintings.
- Social studies teachers and students will be interested in exploring what John Singer Sargent's paintings suggest about society at the time.
For sample related classroom activities, download the PDFs available under related resources.
The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web source -- or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries -- to look for other objects that will provide further insights into this exhibition.