February 6 – May 3, 2015 | West Building, Main Floor

John Singer Sargent, En Route Pour la Peche (Setting Out to Fish), 1878, detail, o/c, Corcoran Collection

John Singer Sargent, En route pour la peche (Setting out to Fish), 1878, detail, o/c, Corcoran Collection

Outdoors – instead of the more usual indoors — with John Singer Sargent:  En route pour la peche ( Setting out to Fish), and Simplon Pass  —  two of my favorite paintings from the Corcoran Collection.

At a time when wealthy American art collectors placed European art at the pinnacle of artistic achievement – as the Andrew Mellon collection became the core of the National Gallery’s collection of Italian Renaissance art – William Wilson Corcoran saw it differently: his Corcoran Gallery, which opened in 1874, fulfilled his vision of a national collection focused on American art.  He wanted to encourage “American genius.  And genius is everywhere in this prime collection which, through a new agreement, has now been joined, mainly, with the National Gallery of Art.