American artist John Singer Sargent’s watercolor painting titled “Carrara Workmen” is a genre painting created in 1911. It measures 40.4 x 53.4 cm and was purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York on April 4, 1912. Sargent’s impressionist style is evident in this work, which depicts Italian quarry workmen against the backdrop of the white Carrara marble that they’re working on.
The use of scraping over graphite on ivory wove paper with touches of opaque watercolor adds depth and texture to the painting, making it seem almost three-dimensional. The dark hues contrast sharply against the whiteness of the marble and highlight the laborious work being done by the men depicted.
Sargent was famous for his realistic portraits as well as his Impressionistic landscapes and genre paintings. Some other notable works by him include “Head of a Capri Girl,” “El Jaleo,” “Charles Stuart Forbes,” and “Madame X.” A Giclee print of this piece is available at Art.com.
Overall, Sargent’s “Carrara Workmen” is an impressive representation of his unique artistic style that captures both realism and impressionism effectively while highlighting scenes from everyday life. Its technique combined with its overall atmosphere serves as a lasting legacy of his skillful artistry during that era.