Group with Parasols

7:00 AM

John Singer Sargent, Group with Parasols, 1905
By REID GUEMMER

Perhaps I have a false impression of what life was like during the early nineteen hundreds, but for some reason seeing a group of well-dressed people, including both men and women, laying in the grass in 1905 seems odd to me. Not to mention the way their bodies intertwine ever so casually with one another. The brush strokes create a fluid motion in the translation between the bodies and background. Sargent seems to be experimenting with both technique and his own sexuality in this painting. Expressing his own comfort with both male and female subjects through the nonchalant positioned bodies. They lounge on each other taking in the sunshine and the smell of freshly cut grass. 

Davis’s Strapless briefly explores the concept of “la vie boheme.” Rather than letting the academy dictate the direction of their education and career, artists began taking the responsibility on themselves. Painting in out in the world and in a much more laid back environment. Group with Parasols feels like a visual representation of the relaxed lifestyle of the art students discussed. 

When looking at this painting a feeling of nostalgia comes over me. It makes me crave summer and the feeling of total confusion and bliss when you wake laying in the sun. 

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