John Singer Sargent’s Flamenco Playlist

Duration : 1 hour, 4 minutes

Flamenco dancer

John Singer Sargent, La Carmencita Dancing (detail)1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 54 x 35 in. (137.16 x 88.9 cm), Framed: 64 1/2 x 46 7/8 in. (163.83 x 119.063 cm). Private Collection

Around 1916, Sargent gave his friend Isabella Stewart Gardner the 22 flamenco records digitized here. He wrote to her expressing strong preferences for certain singers and types of songs in a particular sales catalogue, and urged her to consider only “flamenco songs and not the rubbish that the catalogue is full of.” Gardner noted her own opinions on the labels of the albums Sargent gave her, classifying them as “good” or “bad.” All music courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Sargent and Spain is on view at the Legion of Honor from February 11 through May 14, 2023.

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