About This Artwork

John Singer Sargent
American, 1856–1925

Rehearsal of the Pasdeloup Orchestra at the Cirque d'Hiver, c. 1879

Oil on canvas
93 x 73 cm (36 5/8 x 28 3/4 in.)
Signed, lower left: "To G Henschel / John S. Sargent"

Anonymous loan, 81.1972

Painted during Sargent’s student years in Paris, Rehearsal ofthe Pasdeloup Orchestra at the Cirque d’Hiver epitomizes the energy of the artist’s early experiments with Impressionism.Vigorous brushwork, skewed perspective, and tonal control synthesize the visual and aural perception of the scene. Paint is freely handled, with little concern for the rendering of detail. The clowns in the foreground burst with color and allude to the dual purpose of the Cirque d’Hiver—a site where popular and high culture seamlessly converged. Jules Etienne Pasdeloup conducted rehearsals of his orchestra, free to the public, at the Cirque d’Hiver on Sunday afternoons.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Judith A. Barter et al, The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 31.

Interpretive Resources

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