Skip to main content

John Singer Sargent, 'Wineglasses', probably 1875

Key facts
Full title Wineglasses
Artist John Singer Sargent
Artist dates 1856 - 1925
Date made probably 1875
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 45 × 37.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery, 2018
Inventory number NG6670
Location On loan: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, Chimei Museum, Tainan City, Taiwan
Collection Main Collection
John Singer Sargent

Although dated 1874 on the canvas, Sargent most likely painted this study of a shaded veranda the following year at Saint-Enogat in Brittany. He spent the summer of 1875 there, when he was just 19 years old. The fluid brushwork shows the influence of Impressionism, a new way of painting, particularly outdoors, which Sargent had been studying while in Paris. This type of setting – an outdoor location where there is eating and drinking – often appears in Impressionist paintings.

Sargent is particularly attentive to the play of light and the way that objects, such as the tablecloth, reflect light and colours from their surroundings. Despite its apparent informality, this is a structured, even complex, composition. Sargent is interested in the different shapes within the scene and in the visual relationship between surfaces and edges.

He gave the painting to his teacher, Emile Carolus-Duran, perhaps as a demonstration piece to show his skill in capturing light.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo