A preparatory study for his 1882 canvas El Jaleo, John Singer Sargent’s Spanish Dancer, painted between 1879 and 1882 is a stirring and elegant rendering of a gypsy dancing the flamenco. This scene, certainly informed by his 1879 journeys through Spain, saw Sargent embodying his love of Gypsy culture and a imbuing it with the hope and enthusiasm of his youth. Sargent began his studies in preparation for the larger canvas upon his return to Paris. This gypsy dance is Sargent’s most intuitive work, prefiguring the mood of the post-Impressionists and even predicting the gestural and ritualistic worlds of early Modernism. The dramatic effects of light and the highly choreographed staging was studied and composed for over a year before Sargent began work. Without doubt the artist’s most ambitious work, Spanish Dancer is a wonderful and geometric reproduction of movement.
The most flamboyant of Sargent’s early paintings, this vivid reproduction of a Spanish gypsy performer is made even more exuberant by the lack of background or staging, evoking a sense that the dancer is isolated in her concentration and performing in the abyss. The careful articulation of light, space, and the evocation of sound makes the resonant, yet imagined, rhythms of the dance pulsate through the painting. The final work which would emerge from this study, El Jaleo, was first exhibited at the 1882 Paris Salon when Sargent was only 26. Spanish Dancer is deeply evocative of its times, reflecting a nineteenth-century preoccupation with the foreign, and an idealisation of the ‘other’. Artists and bohemians had idealized the world and life-view of the gypsies for some time, particularly celebrating their nomadism, close kinship ties, and rejection of organized religion. Alone in the frame, the subject is a figurative reproduction of this vitality and expressiveness.
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If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Spanish Dancer, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Spanish Dancer 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.
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