Florence has always been a popular destination and a source of inspiration for many artists. It was the same also for the great painter Sargent and many other American artists who went to the Tuscan capital, creating the first American national movement. Five hundred years after the death of Amerigo Vespucci, an exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi celebrates the ties between old and new continent, with works by William Morris Hunt, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Frederick Childe Hassam and many other artists Americans who were seduced by the impressionist painting. Of particular importance are the works of Sargent, an artist born in Florence by American parents. After training in Florence, he moved to Paris where he devoted himself to painting en plein air Impressionist. While not being able to define an impressionist in effect, Sargent also revisited the style in his later works at the Paris period. In his life he traveled extensively, went to the United States and then to Spain, where he was struck by the paintings of Diego Velazquez, then went to Holland where had a profound impact on him Franz Hals. Other American writers and painters helped to form his style. Sargent got a lot of success in life, especially among the aristocracy and upper middle class European-American who appreciated his unique ability to look inside the characters portrayed.
Sargent said of himself: “I am an American born in Italy, educated in France, who speaks English, German, and I look like a paint like a Spaniard.” To admire his works and those of other artists, the exhibition is accessible to the public until July 15, 2012.