John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925), 1891
oil on canvas,
81 cm x 63 cm
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
John Singer Sargent’s Egyptian Indigo Dyers affords a glimpse of daily life in the Middle East, as he had experienced it on one of his own trips there. The three men in this painting wear rather sloppy turbans. Their hands are stained blue from the dye they work with.
Singer Sargent did not embellish reality. Instead, he presented an authentic picture of the ancient craft of indigo dying, which had a long tradition in Egypt. In this he distinguished himself from many other artists, who returned from they journeys to the Orient with idealized scenes.
The Mesdag Collection is the only museum in the Netherlands with a painting by the famous American portraitist Singer Sargent.