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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Ships at Palma

Photo: Susan Cole

Ships at Palma

probably 1908

John Singer Sargent

Born Florence, Italy, 1856; died London, England, 1925

John Singer Sargent came to relish painting landscape and exotic scenery as something of a relief from portraiture, for which he was in much demand. Particularly in his later years he did so magnificently on his travels. Increasingly his work was done in the traveler's medium of watercolor. As this beautiful work done on the island of Majorca shows, even late in his career Sargent's powers of observation and transcription never waned.

Watercolor on paper
12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7cm)
Partial and promised gift from a private collection
Provenance: the artist or an intermediary, to [Daniel H. Farr, Philadelphia, 1923]; to [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, April 1923, inv. #WC1550; as Palma]; sold to [ F. W. Bayley & Son, Boston, April 1923]; with Eleanor M. Cochran Sears (Mrs. Richard Dudley Sears), Boston, by 1925; to her daughter, Marian Sears Minot (Mrs. Dr. James Minot), Beverly, Massachusetts; [{Mc Ginnis auction, August 23, 1986, as Sailboats at Anchor}]; sold to [Thomas W. Colville, Inc., Fine Paintings, New Haven, Connecticut, as Yachts at Anchor, Palma de Majorca]; sold to donor, 1986
Photo: Susan Cole
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryBoston, Museum of Fine Arts, Memorial Exhibition of the Works of John Singer Sargent, Nov. 3-Dec. 27, 1925. Cat. no. 66 [as Yachts at Fayal, lent by Mrs. Richard Dudley Sears].

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Singer Sargent. A Memorial Exhibition, Jan. 4-Feb. 14, 1926. Cat. no. 57 [as Yachts at Fayal, lent by Mrs. Ricahrd Dudley Sears].

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Watercolors by John Singer Sargent, May-June 1933. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, John Singer Sargent: The Sensualist, Dec. 14, 2000-Mar. 18, 2001. Text by Trevor Fairbrother. No cat. no, p. 133, reproduced p. 132, fig. 5-12 [as Yachts at Anchor, Palma de Majorca, 1912].

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5-Sept. 9, 2007. No catalogue.

Philadelphia, Philadelphia Art Museum, American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, Feb. 16 - May 14, 2017. Text by Kathleen A. Foster. No cat. no., p. 327, reproduced fig. 280; checklist p. 482.

Published ReferencesOrmond, Ricahrd and Elaine Kilmurray. John Singer Sargent, Figures and Landscapes, 1908-1913: Complete Paintings, Volume III. New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2014. No. 1456, p. 48, reproduced [as Ships at Palma, c. 1908].

Junker, Patricia. "America in the Artful Age." In A Community of Collectors, edited by Chiyo Ishikawa, p. 194, reproduced fig. 164. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2008.

Foster, Kathleen. American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent. Exh. Cat. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017; p. 327, reproduced fig. 280.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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