Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, by John Singer Sargent, 1885-6

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, by John Singer Sargent 1885-6

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 – 1925) took two years to complete this lovely summer evening scene, which he painted outdoors and only at dusk in summer and autumn months, a few minutes of painting per day, when the light was just right, finishing in October of 1886. Dorothy (Dolly) and Polly Barnard, daughters of illustrator Frederick Barnard, graciously modeled for the painting session each evening. Dolly, aged eleven, is on the left; and Polly, aged seven, is on the right. This oil on canvas work measures 174 cm (68.5 inches) high and 153.7 cm (60.5 inches) wide and is on view at Tate Britain, London.

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