John Singer Sargent

Cafe on the Riva degli Schiavoni by John Singer Sargent

Cafe on the Riva degli Schiavoni by John Singer Sargent

In May 2007 I spent several days painting in Venice and was fortunate enough to take in a superb exhibition of paintings of Venice by one of my favourite artists John Singer Sargent held at the Museo Correr in St Mark’s Square.

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is said to be the most important of American Impressionists. He was born in Florence (another one of my favourite cities) and spent most of his life in Europe, studying in Paris under Carolus-Duran and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He began his career as a portrait painter producing outstanding portraits of the rich and famous of his day including two American Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

He was a friend of Monet and  began to experiment painting plein air undertaking a number of study trips which included over 10 trips to Venice from 1870 to 1913. The exhibition at The Museo Correr consisted of 54 of these works loaned not only from European and American museums but also private collections. Subjects included famous land marks such as the scene above titled Cafe on the Riva degli Schiavoni, canals viewed from gondola rides, palaces, churches and daily life in Venice.

As I was doing this particular post, I couldn’t resist thumbing through my own “plein air” sketchbook watercolours of Venice and selecting a few in homage to Sargent. May he continue being an inspiration to many.

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About alan

British artist Alan Reed, was born in Corbridge in the North of England into a family with a history of painting. "I have been passionate about painting all my life and committed to helping others through my paintings". Alan trained as an illustrator / graphic designer in the North of England and spent the early part of his career doing artist impressions of new building projects for architects. Alan Reed specialises in landscapes, cityscapes and portraits both in watercolours and oils. His unique, fluid style captures the atmosphere of different settings from the drama of city life to the serenity and beauty of a rural landscape. Alan Reed has had many successful exhibitions both in the UK and abroad including those at the Mall Galleries in London, Malcolm Innes Gallery in Edinburgh, Italy, the USA and the Middle East and has been a regular exhibitor of rowing scenes in the Stewards’ Enclosure at the Henley Royal Regatta. 2013 Winner of "The Artist's Prize" in the Royal Watercolour Society Competition 2013 with his painting "Jebel Akhdar, Oman". The painting was exhibited at the Bankside Gallery, London.   2011 Alan Reed - Winner of the "Circus Painting Prize" in the Bath Prize. Alan Reed's painting of  “Pump Room in the Snow” was highly commended in the Bath Prize. 2011 Alan Reed - One of the finals with his painting of "Grey Street" in the "Show me the Monet" programme shown on BBC2. 2010 Alan Reed - 1st runner up in "The Bath Prize" with his original painting of "The Royal Crescent, Bath". Alan Reed's painting of the "The Roman Baths by Torchlight" was also highly commended in the Bath Prize. Artist Alan Reed's approach to painting is described in a book
entitled "Landscapes in Watercolour" by Theodora Philcox, an inspirational book which features the work of 23 leading watercolourists from around the world. The Middle East is an area to which Alan has given his artistic attention thanks to a series of ongoing commissions for the government of Oman. Alan’s work has become increasingly collectable and is widely represented internationally through private and corporate commissions including those for Royalty, Coutts Bank, Rolls Royce, Northern Rock PLC, several client’s private and corporate properties both in the UK and worldwide. We supply to Interior designers, Cruise ships, Corporate companies and galleries providing the perfect solution to meet all your needs. Portraits, Gift Vouchers, Sherree V-Daines, Sketchbook, Reviews, Painting Tips and Paintings for the Queen Worldwide Shipping