Lily Lily Lily

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LOG IN. Prairie Schooner. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Davis Carol V. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE. Additional Information. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Contact Contact Us Help. Richards The rose and the lily are two of the three floral motifs that give the picture its title. It is our view that painting out the lilies, and the changes from lilies to roses, was done for subtle aesthetic purposes. The modifications prevent the creation of too bower-like an effect over the girls, suggesting a movement away from a literal towards a more decorative aesthetic.

Sargent had experimented with the flat, decorative effect of lilies in in his study of the children of Mr and Mrs Albert Vickers painted in their Sussex garden fig.


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  • John Singer Sargent: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (Foiled Journal) - Flame Tree Publishing;

The lilies are more realistically secured in their pots than are those in Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose , but they arc over the children in a similar way and form a flat, decorative pattern across the upper part of the picture space. It has the property of being thixotropic—keeping its shape, forming impasto when needed, thinning out when brushed, and capable of being spread out into transparent more glaze-like layers. Throughout the painting Sargent employs thinned paints to begin with, and later on in areas such as the designs depicted on the Japanese lanterns, as well as thicker impasto, with many layers applied wet-in-wet.

His signature use of red lake is here deployed only to create the intense dark crimson carnations—a deep red fluorescent madder mixed with Megilp medium has been applied thickly on top of an opaque pink. This is a technique Sargent had employed since his first exhibited painting, and is testament to a certain consistency of method.

Pigments identified in the layers of and are of very good quality, with few extenders: his lead white, for example, was in general very pure although a little zinc white appears from the period after his move to London. Strong reds are in evidence in this painting—vermilion was used to make the opaque oranges and pinks—and further types of red are present in this work: non-fluorescent red lead, madder on aluminium substrate , another madder on a different substrate , and a non-fluorescent red lake fig.

We see from the paint box that Sargent also used cadmium red, Mars red, Mars orange, and intense yellows such as genuine Indian yellow, pale lemon chrome, two cadmium yellows, and Mars yellow.

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A superb range of many of these pigments is visible in particular in the lanterns. His greens and blues are of excellent quality—the emerald green employed in the grasses, stems, and leaves of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose is found in high quantity, and the cobalt blue is an intense and dark grade. Others, such as viridian, cerulean blue, natural ultramarine ash, and synthetic ultramarine are all present in the paint box, but it is a strong cobalt blue and emerald green that are particularly prevalent in the small paint samples we took from this picture. How did Sargent finalize his painting and create a surface gloss to suit his intense use of pigments and complement his overall aesthetic?

The ultraviolet light image fig. The question of varnishing is pertinent to any discussion of surface and Impressionism.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Artists such as Claude Monet, with whom Sargent painted en plein air see Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood, probably , Tate, London were against varnishing their pictures. His use of Megilp ensured a satin surface due to its resinous varnish content. Using Megilp medium and applications of very thin varnishes both between paint layers visible in cross-section in fig. Should sinking have occurred, it would have changed the refractive index of the surface, caused a more matt surface, and affected the vibrancy of the palette.

It is worth repeating here that the physical evidence suggests that the work was finished in his studio, when two extra lanterns were added at each side of the composition—one bright and lit up and one dull with no flame yet fig. It is possible that some of the adjustments he made in London were also related to surface.

There are two topics to consider in a discussion of light and Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. First, we need to understand the challenge to Sargent of painting artificial light generated by lanterns and depicting both these, the figures, and the other motifs in his painting whilst natural light was fading. The identification of the location for some of this activity, in the photograph of Sargent painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose fig.

The road would not have been a busy thoroughfare in the mids, but it is still an unusual working site with no obvious advantage of background scenery.

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Setting the canvas and lilies there could have been for other reasons, perhaps one of them being to get the right light. Capturing this moment of tension between fading natural light and brightening artificial light was a great challenge for Sargent, and he approached the task carefully using different methods. He positioned darker-toned red elements—deep crimson red carnations and roses—against varying shades of grass and greenery. The brightest and lightest tones are achieved in the lit lanterns which glow and reflect on the faces of Dolly and Polly and the equally bright whites of the lilies and dresses.

However, the position of some of the crimson carnations, for example, exploits colour contrasts more than tonal ones. The second topic in a discussion of light and this work concerns viewing the painting once it was finished.

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The experience of seeing the painting in the conservation studio over a prolonged period at various times of day and under different conditions of light was informative. Without any influence from artificial light, depth of field in the image seemed to deepen during the period of twilight, the image becoming progressively less flattened.

Tate photographers carefully documented this over fifteen-minute intervals, allowing us to compare the painting at different times as daylight faded fig. John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose details , Two lanterns at left and right do not go to the edge, and suggest the painting was finished in the studio.

In Focus: Mark Griffiths on the history and revival of Sargent’s ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’

Sargent also made observations about the effects of different lights under which his painting was viewed and when it was displayed in new conditions back in London. Ultimately he was concerned he had not represented the scene quite as he wished to capture it, in particular in his use of colours. In a letter to an artist who was asking permission to copy his image, he notes:.

He devised a pictorial language and fashioned luminous colour that together depict a moment, but which also encourage repeated visits and close attention. This sustained re-examination and technical analysis has revealed new aspects of the gestation of an apparently familiar work, and we hope it will inspire further research and encourage dialogue across disciplines, integrating and embedding the technical with traditional approaches. We also thank Christopher Calnan for his attentive eye and his photography.

We extend special thanks to Richard Ormond for his expertise, encouragement, and advice, all of which have been invaluable. Turner, and Martina Droth.


  • Introduction: a sequence of moments.
  • Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose 1885-6.
  • Prairie Schooner.
  • Carnation Lily Lily Rose Story / Theme.
  • Carnation Lily Lily Rose Inspirations for the Work.
  • Undiscovered Country.

Au premier coup : painted in one process, not as several stages with the paint drying in between. Cadmium red : an opaque scarlet pigment made from cadmium sulpho-selenide, sold in London from the s. Cadmium yellow : cadmium sulphide, an opaque bright yellow pigment available from the s. Cerulean blue : an opaque, greenish blue made of cobalt stannate and used from Cobalt blue : an opaque blue, manufactured pigment made of cobalt aluminate in use from Drier siccative : a material added to an oil to increase the rate of drying through oxidation and cross-linking of the molecules.

Emerald green : a brilliant opaque bluish green made of copper aceto-arsenite, first made in Germany in Highly toxic.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose - John Singer Sargent — Google Arts & Culture

Ground : a field on which to paint, usually lean, opaque paint applied as a single, unmodified colour to the support in readiness for painting. Indian Yellow : bright translucent yellow originally manufactured from the urine of cows fed on mango leaves. Made synthetically from the late nineteenth century. Lake pigments : translucent pigments made by precipitating a dye onto a base such as aluminium hydrate.

Lemon yellow : bright, opaque yellow pigment made from either barium chromate or strontium chromate or any other yellow of a pale cool hue. Megilp : a gelled medium made by mixing together mastic varnish and an oil prepared by heating and adding a lead drier. Poppy seed or poppy seed oil : drying oil extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy Papaver somniferum. It yellows less than linseed oil but takes longer to dry and forms a less hard paint film.

Rebate : L-shaped recess in a frame moulding, typically designed to take the painting. Refractive index : the degree to which the rays of light are bent while passing through a transparent substance—a pigment with a comparatively low refractive index similar to that of oil, e. Size : traditionally a weak solution of animal glue used in the priming of canvas and panels, but may also be made from other adhesives.

Synthetic ultramarine : chemically identical to the natural variety, first produced in France around —27 and manufactured ever since. John Singer Sargent attended his artistic training in Paris, and this is where he learnt the impressionist painting technique. While still in Paris, he attended a lot of exhibitions where paintings that had implemented the impressionist technique were on display to the public.

Through all this exposure of the impressionist technique, Sargent decided to use it on the Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. The painter also used the Realism technique. By simply using actual people in the painting confirms that he is a realist. Both the realist and the impressionist technique were used in the painting.

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When the Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose was being created, the painter used canvas and oil paint. The oil paint is a slow drying paint while the canvas ensured the durability of the painting. The painting has the effects of the sunset, starting with the colour, the perfect light, and the shadow. The painter did a perfect job in the painting; all these effects are evident in the artwork. When you take a look at the artwork, the time of day when the sun was almost setting was successfully captured by the painter. The lighting in the lanterns brings a glow to the painting. The artwork clearly captured the original state of the moment, with everything in its original colour.

A close look at the artwork will show a clear picture of childhood innocence.


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Today, the painting is at Tate Gallery where it can be viewed by the entire public.