Portrait of a Spanish dancer

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 – 1925). La Carmencita (detail), 1890. Oil on canvas, 90 3/16 × 55 1/8 in (229 × 140 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Acquired in 1892, RF 746. Photo: Gerard Blot. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Churches, coastlines, gardens, royal palaces, dancing — vibrant works by John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) immerse you in the rich culture of Spain. This exhibition, in its exclusive West coast stop, is the first to explore the influence of Spanish culture on Sargent’s dynamic visual practice. Celebrated as the society portraitist of his era, Sargent influenced a generation of American painters. His captivation with Spain, which developed over the course of seven visits taken from 1879 to 1912, resulted in a remarkable body of work. The exhibition presents an array of Sargent’s dazzling oils, watercolors, and drawings, along with never-before-exhibited photographs, showcasing Spain’s people, architecture, and magnificent urban and rural landscapes.

In the news

  • The sensory experience of Spain is the true focus — and joy — of this exhibition. And perhaps no artist captured it as deftly as Sargent. To see his work is to be transported.

    Ari Post, The Georgetowner,
  • You have to see the paintings with your own eyes. Prepare to be flabbergasted.

    Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post,
  • He created a broad portrait of the Spanish landscape: its flora and fauna, its people and animals, its ports and ships. These works capture the intrinsic character of the country.

    Andrea Rodés, AL DÍA,



Sargent and Spain is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Support for the national tour has been generously provided by Bank of America.

Bank of America logo

Presenting Sponsors

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn
Diane B. Wilsey

Lead Sponsor
Denise Littlefield Sobel

Major Support

Bernard and Barbro Osher

Significant Support
Vance Wall Foundation

Generous Support
Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas
Lynn and Edward Poole

Additional support is provided by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Lucy Young Hamilton, Wendy W. Kwok and family, Jan and Bob Newman, and Dorothy Saxe.

Support for the National Gallery of Art’s presentation is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. 

Currently on view