philamuseum: Happy Birthday to John Singer Sargent, born on…

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


Happy Birthday to John Singer Sargent, born on this day in 1856. Although he lived most of his life in Europe, he still considered himself an American. Both of his parents were raised in the United States, and his father actually grew up right here in Philadelphia!

In the Luxembourg Gardens,” 1879, John Singer Sargent

I was looking at this, and it felt super familiar, not just as a painting I’d seen, but as something I’d seen with real, living people. And then I remembered: It looked similar to one of the sets in Matthew Bourne’s recent production of The Sleeping Beauty.

This picture doesn’t show it quite the way I remember it; my memory is that there was an earlier moment that looked exactly like the painting. But now I’m not sure if that’s just my memory twisting things, or if there actually was a moment in the ballet that intentionally referenced the painting.

Probably the former. But still, now I want to see the ballet again. Not that I’d need an excuse. I’ll see anything by Matthew Bourne any chance I get.

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