A Street in Algiers John Singer Sargent Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Being a master in what you do is not innate; it requires several failing attempts before that one time when something good and recognisable comes out of those various sessions.

In art, for instance, modern forms of productions have been made faster and simpler, thanks to the availability of aqua ink and graphic designs that are easy for one to familiarise. The ancient artworks needed oil, canvas and brush and painters made it their task to go for the more exceptional details with the only tool they had; a brush.

John Singer Sargent who was considered the leading portrait painter of his generation created paintings, watercolors, sketches and charcoal drawings and A Street in Algiers is one of his famous oil paintings. On one of his trips to North Africa, the painter focused on the small buildings and the rugged somehow steep streets he came in contact. As a landscape painter, Singer wanted to have his paintings in their naturalistic forms as much as possible, and several intriguing strokes of oil on a wooden panel made his paint box-size painting worth it.

Though the intent of painting the street is not clear, his seemingly meandering street amidst several small buildings has the natural effects embodied. The roughly textured shadow of the street and its walls are a clear indication of realism and the period in the era he lived. The bunch of shades of strokes on the painting illuminates and darken each other in contrast showing the time of day. A Street in Algiers inspired another painter Sir John Lavery who visited the place thirteen years after Singer Sargent and painted a clear perspective of a whole city of Tangier in Morocco, at the sides of a hill and referred to his paintings Moorish Buildings on a cloudy day and Tangier, The White City with little implications of change.

With his timeless quality paintings, most of the artist's artworks during his trip are in the gallery collections of the Yale University and Metropolitan Museum in New York, though A Street in Algiers is currently in private collection custody. Replicas of the painting have been recreated to reproduce the original form. Other paintings that clinched him fame were portraits of social influencers like Portrait of Madame X, Lady Agnew of Lachnaw and the Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt.