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John Singer Sargent, Study for Seated Figures, for “El Jaleo” (c. 1882)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Study for Seated Figures, for “El Jaleo” (c. 1882) by John Singer Sargent.

About the Work

Title : Study for Seated Figures, for “El Jaleo”
Artist : John Singer Sargent
Year : c. 1882
Medium : Oil on canvas
Dimensions :65.4 x 81.3 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

According to the digital catalogue of the Harvard Art Museums :

“Thinly painted on buff-colored ground, the study opens insight into Sargent’s process. Apparently working quickly, he executed the figures to varying degrees of finish.”

The theme of flamenco dancers was inspired by Singer Sargent’s visit to Spain around 1879. This work was one of his preparatory sketch works for another painting, the final version of which is housed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Other Details

John Singer Sargent’s Study for Seated Figures, for “El Jaleo” is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 2700. It is part of the museum’s collection of Impressionism and the Late Nineteenth Century – European and American Art, 19th century. The piece has been housed at the Fogg Art Museum since 1943.


To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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