Image: John Singer Sargent, Venetian Wineshop (c.1898).
Earlier this week, we posted our guide to great D.C. neighborhood wine shops. In that posting we included a painting by John Singer Sargent of a wine shop in Venice. On Saturdays, we like to highlight art, especially art related to food and wine. So, this Saturday, we return to Sargent for another painting. Sargent had a strong connection with Italy, according to a write up for a LACMA exhibit on Sargent and Italy from 2003:
“John Singer Sargent was born in Florence in 1856 to expatriate American parents. The Sargents traveled through Europe incessantly in pursuit of culture, returning most frequently to Italy-an older country, charged with classical culture, but also warm and sensual. Land of the Renaissance, of the Medici, of Leonardo, and Michelangelo, Italy was also a land of color, of uninhibited emotion, and extravagance; shards of sensation that feed the imagination of a visual artist. By the age of twelve, Sargent was sketching the artistic and scenic wonders of Italy. He received his first systematic art instruction in Florence but left in 1874 for training that one could obtain then only in Paris. In 1878 he made his first visit to the United States, where he claimed his American citizenship, and then embarked on his first professional painting trip to Italy.”
After a few years, he would make annual pilgrimages:
“Each summer Sargent returned to Italy where he painted landscapes, genre scenes, and portraits. In Italy, Sargent was at home. His landscapes are populated mainly by family and friends. He makes visible the vital hold that Italy had on all American visitors — not simply the abstract ideal of history, but rather the realm of the sensual, the special qualities of light, the attention to uncomplicated pleasures of the table, the balmy air.”
The painting above, another Venetian wineshop interior, is from 1898. It is currently in a private collection, so today we are not making a virtual visit to a museum. We have to make a virtual leap over a fence into a private residence. Or if you prefer, imagine walking the streets of Venice with Sargent.
If you wandering around D.C. and looking for dining options, we have that covered too! You can search in either MAP or LIST format. And be sure to follow on social media, click at the top or bottom of the page.