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A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

About this artwork

Beginning in 1885, John Singer Sargent increasingly spent time painting outside, exploring the techniques and subjects of Impressionism, inspired by a growing friendship with Claude Monet. Executing this work in rural England (or possibly Nice in southern France), Sargent experimented with distinctly broken brushwork and a high-keyed palette. Thistles captures the tangled movement of the windblown plants in light and shadow. This landscape composition is remarkably abstract: the dynamic patterning of the thistles asserts the flatness of the picture plane more so than any sense of depth. Sargent continued painting en plein air throughout his life, a practice that provided needed respite from his busy schedule as an acclaimed portraitist.


On View, Gallery 176


Arts of the Americas


John Singer Sargent




England (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1883–1889


Oil on canvas


55.9 × 71.8 cm (22 × 28 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Brooks McCormick

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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