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The Hermit (Il solitario)

Artist:
John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Date:
1908
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
37 3/4 x 38 in. (95.9 x 96.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
11.31
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 770
Sargent based this painting on sketches he had made in Val d’Aosta, in the foothills of the Alps, in northwestern Italy. Although he seems to have been preoccupied with rendering the sundappled landscape in textured brushstrokes, he also included two deer (contrived from a stuffed specimen) and a male figure that evokes religious personages such as Saint Jerome. Yet, when approving The Hermit as the translated title of the picture, Sargent wrote to the director of the Metropolitan, “I wish there were another simple word that did not bring with it any Christian association, and that rather suggested quietness and pantheism.”
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