Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem signed 'John S Sargent' (lower left); inscribed 'Bethlehem' (lower right) watercolour over pencil 26 x 36.2cm (10 1/4 x 14 1/4in).
PROVENANCE: The collection of Miss Emily Sargent A private collection, England
EXHIBITED: London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1926, no. 146.
The Royal Academy Winter Exhibition of 1926 was devoted to the work of the recently deceased John Singer Sargent. The exhibition included 631 paintings, drawings and watercolours of which over 230 were lent by Mrs. Violet Ormond and Miss Emily Sargent. Among these were numerous depictions of the Holy Land. The catalogue to the exhibition lists five watercolours and four oils owned by either Mrs. Ormond or Miss Sargent that had Jerusalem in their title. There is only one work titled Bethlehem and it is indicated as belonging to Miss Sargent. The preponderance of Jerusalem titles may account for the mistitling on the R.A. label of the present work.
This work will be included in the forthcoming John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, in collaboration with Warren Adelson and Elizabeth Oustinoff, to be published by Yale University Press.