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Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
This print of John Singer Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" depicts two young girls lighting lanterns amongst a haze of flowers. This was one of the few paintings Sargent made outdoors in the Impressionist style and it had a unique production technique as a result. In order to capture the right lighting, Sargent was only able to work a few minutes each evening before which he would set up all of his materials, place his models, and then paint for the few minutes he could. Even in this print, the mauvish light of dusk is captured in the coolness of the flowers and foliage surrounding the two young girls. The light lanterns that incite warmth in the atmosphere, mediating the onset of cooler, darker hours. The fringe on the girls' dresses and the sprawling calla lilies appear to become one across the center of the picture, causing their bodies to fade into the foliage and their illuminated faces to join the ranks of the lanterns. The painting features all three of the flowers mentioned in its name, but the name, in particular, was taken from the song "The Wreath" by eighteenth-century opera composer Joseph Mazzinghi that was popular in the 1880s.