John Singer Sargent
One of the young girls—Sargent’s nieces and the daughters of friends—who were often part of his traveling party posed for this watercolor, wearing one of the costumes he had purchased in the Middle East earlier in the year. The work’s title references a woman featured in biblical and Arabic literature who was often portrayed as enamored of her beautiful slave, Joseph. Sargent used lush colors and loose brushwork to describe her Turkish-style pantaloons and silk overdress, and the cashmere shawl on which she lies, to evoke a mood of sensual ease and sumptuous pleasure.
Translucent and opaque watercolor
10 x 13 15/16 in. (25.4 x 35.4 cm)
frame: 23 15/16 x 29 7/8 x 1 3/8 in. (60.8 x 75.9 x 3.5 cm)
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