John Singer Sargent, born in Italy to travelling American parents, enjoyed a life of shifting perspectives and settings. A cosmopolitan from birth, Sargent continued to move around the world for the rest of his life, forging an artistic style punctuated by surprising shifts of tone and almost anachronistic palettes that would always, somehow, appear to be firmly anchored to their subject. A Boating Party is no exception, an impressionistic reproduction that owes much to his personal acquaintances the Impressionists, and to the Symbolist and pre-Raphaelite movement.
Sargent was known and revered as the greatest portrait painter of his day, earning astronomical fees and commissions. The sculptor Rodin even went so far as to describe him as the Van Dyck of the late-nineteenth century. Yet before creating the works that would ensure his name would live on beyond the upper echelons of society, Sargent honed his craft on the beachfronts and waterways of Western Europe. Like the Impressionists – Monet, Renoir, Sisley – the shimmering light on water and the constantly shifting subject of the sea, were perfect sounding boards for their style – both elemental and abstract.
This reproduction from life, painted in 1889, revived a popular subject for the Impressionists of the 1870s. A Boating Party was without doubt influenced by Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, which revelled in the joys of youth and repose, its subjects suspended in light and time. Renoir’s painting was an idyllic and optimistic view of French society in the late-nineteenth century, a reproduction of a particular establishment that welcomed a range of social classes, all of which could enjoy a day of boating relatively free from the usual constraints of social hierarchy. Sargent’s canvas is a more personal response as the figures on the small boat flatten almost along the same spatial plane as the foliage behind them, suggesting a unity between man and nature.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of A Boating Party, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of A Boating Party that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.