Review: ‘John Singer Sargent Watercolors,’ at the MFA

Museum of Fine Arts

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John Singer Sargent returned to watercolor and to landscape with renewed vigor and ambition, and a new sense of freedom in 1902. The watercolors he produced over the next decade — the first tranche of which was purchased en masse by the Brooklyn Museum, and the second tranche of which was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts — are the subject of a ravishing show, which opens on Sunday at the MFA after enjoying a summer run in Brooklyn.

The exhibition is large — it has 92 watercolors spread across about a dozen galleries, each one sprinkled with related oil paintings. It is also beautifully installed, and intensely satisfying. Long overdue, it marks the first time these two bodies of work have been united and displayed together.

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