John Singer Sargent “The Hermit”
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) “The Hermit” (Il solitario), 1908, oil on canvas.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
“Sargent based this painting on sketches he had made in Val d’Aosta, in the foothills of the Alps, in northwestern Italy. Although he seems to have been preoccupied with rendering the sundappled landscape in textured brushstrokes, he also included two deer (contrived from a stuffed specimen) and a male figure that evokes religious personages such as Saint Jerome. Yet, when approving The Hermit as the translated title of the picture, Sargent wrote to the director of the Metropolitan, “I wish there were another simple word that did not bring with it any Christian association, and that rather suggested quietness and pantheism.””
“Self Portrait”, 1906, oil on canvas, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
“John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.”