Somebody asked me the question the other day, “has any piece of art overwhelmed you when you first saw it?” I wanted to answer “yes, hundreds,” but when they insisted on me choosing the most impressionable, I had to dig deep. It came to me quickly… the image etched in my brain sprang forth in all it’s glory!
“John Singer Sargent’s ‘Smoke of Ambergris’” I replied smiling.
It’s the mood and the colours I think. The painting exudes a sense of serenity, almost as intoxicating as the Ambergris smoke itself. She is so exotic in the North African setting and clothing. When I learned that Ambergris was believed to ward off evil spirits and also served as an aphrodisiac, the painting took on an even greater meaning. To me, Sargent’s work is brilliant.
I could post a blog every day for a year of all the paintings I love in the world, and maybe I shall, but I would love to hear which painting brought you to your knees when you first laid eyes on it and has stayed with you ever since?
And please tell me why. I look forward to hearing from you!