At the Clark Museum — John Singer Sargent in Venice
This narrow alleyway, with its peeling plaster walls and burst of light at the far end, draws us into an ambiguous situation. A woman steps over the threshold of a wine cellar, looking at us as if we have intruded on a private meeting. The man facing her seems unaware of being observed. This is one of nearly twenty paintings in which Sargent, instead of focusing on iconic views of Venice, offers a glimpse into everyday life.

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