JOHN SINGER SARGENT
In the Austrian Tyrol
Sold in association with Omnia Fine Art
Acquired from the artist by H.W. Henderson
His daughter, Violet Henderson (Mrs Carnegie), 1931
Her daughter Elizabeth, Lady Carnegie of Lour
Royal Academy, London, Exhibition of Works by the Late John S. Sargent, R.A., 1926, no. 11
Loan to National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Royal Academy, London, Catalogue for the Exhibition of Works by the Late John S. Sargent, R.A., 1926, p.8
E. Charteris, John Sargent, London, 1927, p. 293
C. M. Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, New York, 1955, p. 451 (K1411)
Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, London, 1957 ed.,p.361 (K1411)
Mount, John Singer Sargent: A Biography, New York, 1969 ed., p.477 (K1411)
R. Ormond and E. Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent, Figures and Landscapes, 1914-25, Complete Paintings, Volume IX, Yale, 2016, p.107, no.1773
In the Austrian Tyrol was painted in Southern Tyrol at Kolfuschg (modern day Colfosco), then situated in Austria, at the very beginning of the First World War. The oil painting portrays Sargent himself with a guide, resting by a watermill at the foot of the dramatic Sella range. It was significant that In the Austrian Tyrol was amongst the exhibits selected for the Sargent Memorial exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1926, as one of the best examples of his work. Sargent captures the rocky structure of the Alps with great illusionism, while 'transgressing the Claudean landscape tradition... the space was closed, and the eye confronted by the scene.’ In typical fashion, Sargent actively framed the scene, here from below: the figures are foreshortened, the Sella range and mill sharply cropped in the dappled light.
Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray’s catalogue raisonné of John Singer Sargent’s oeuvre underlined how key the painting In the Austrian Tyrol was within the important body of works executed by the artist during an extended trip in the Alps in the autumn of 1914, when he was trapped in ‘enemy’ country with a party of artists friends. The Alps represented an essential motif in Sargent’s oeuvre. From the late 1850s until 1873, the Sargent family made pilgrimages to the mountains almost every year, but he did not start to tackle it as a mature artist until 1902, when he started regular painting campaigns to the Alps. His 1914 trip was the longest visit spent in the mountains since his childhood.