Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Isn't this lovely? It was one of my favourite paintings when I visited
at the Royal Academy.
Those aren't balloons on the little boy's back; they're 19th century water-wings made of inflated animal bladders.
It's what you might call a slender exhibition focusing on five years at the start of Sargent's career before he launched himself as a society portrait painter.
He was only 23 when painted this in Italy. I wondered about the two little blond boys, who were surely children of tourists, and how their lives turned out.
And I also loved the prancing, kick-boxing hares in the Royal Academy courtyard who look so full of joie de vivre.


Lucille said...

Just the suggestion I needed for an exhibition to visit with a friend.

mary said...

I wouldn't say it's worth a special trip, Lucille. There's some 'nice' paintings - and I'd be more than happy to own one - but feeble stuff compared with his glamorous portraits.

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

Sometimes 'slender exhibitions' are just the perfect size. What a great expression.

mary said...

Hello Joan. I heard a radio reviewer describe it as a 'footnote' exhibition ... and there's a lot to be said for exhibitions that are kind to the feet!
Thanks for visiting.