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Dolce Far Niente

John Singer Sargent

American Art

John Singer Sargent spent part of several summers painting open-air subjects in Italy’s Val d’Aosta. The resulting works reveal his pleasure in the description of vividly brilliant light. To suggest an alluring sensuality, Sargent often dressed his models in costumes that he had purchased in the Middle East. Here, several figures almost seem to merge with the water, enhancing the intimacy of the gathering. All three male figures were modeled by Nicola d’Inverno, Sargent’s servant, a fact that reveals the contrivances underpinning this seemingly casual scene.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1907
DIMENSIONS 16 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. (41.3 x 71.7 cm) frame: 24 3/8 x 36 3/8 x 3 in. (61.9 x 92.4 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "John S. Sargent"
CREDIT LINE Bequest of A. Augustus Healy
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION John Singer Sargent (American, born Italy, 1856–1925). Dolce Far Niente, ca. 1907. Oil on canvas, 16 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. (41.3 x 71.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of A. Augustus Healy, 11.518 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 11.518_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 11.518_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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