Lines and Colors art blog

Sargent's Alligators

Sargent's Alligators
In response to my recent post about Rembrandt’s elephants, there were suggestions that perhaps alligators were not getting their proper representation as subjects for great artists.

In return, I give you John Singer Sargent’s beautiful watercolor of Muddy Alligators, and some related drawings.

Original is in the Worcester Art Museum; slightly larger version on WikiPaintings.


Muddy Alligators, Worcester Art Museum


7 responses to “Sargent's Alligators”

  1. Yikes! That’s extreme plein air painting!

  2. Wow! What a magnificent work! The bleached light and the perfect shade tone, with such a clever composition that intermingles the bodies, and makes them look even more dangerous… and the mouths and teeth!

  3. The blue and lavender tones gives them a more calmer and quieter appearance than what Alligators probably deserve. Very beautiful!

  4. Oh yeah, gators! I forgot about the Sargent Alligators.
    I should say this, my comment, came about because for about 2 hours your site was down and the page showed GatorHost, hence my comments.
    I figured you were going to have to pay homage to the gator, which you did in grand fashion!

    The watercolor, for all of Sargents usually looser paintings this one is more carefully studied. It is simply a marvel.
    It is a mastery of light, darks, colors and design.

  5. Sargent’s watercolours always manage to knock me for six. What an eye he had!

  6. The notes in the Worcester museum page mention wax resist for the alligators, but it seems he used it more for the plants on the left.

    There’s a half finished Sargent watercolor of alligators over at jssgallery:
    …which seems to show him laying in big areas of ultramarine, raw sienna, and burnt umber before the darn alligators got up and moved.

  7. Just when you think you’ve got the boundaries of Sargent’s talents down, he brings another continent of awesome.