Neapolitan Children Bathing

Sargent developed this painting from pencil sketches and oil studies made during his travels in southern Italy. Local children bask in the heat of a lazy summer’s day. A young boy wearing a flotation device looks toward the sea, where the head of a swimmer bobs above the surface. Thinly applied washes of blue and green indicate the calm water, while thicker strokes suggest the texture of cresting waves and grainy sand.


George Millar Williamson (1849–1921), New York (by March 1879); Frederick J. Williamson, by descent; [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 19 December 1922, sold to Clark, 29 December 1923]; Robert Sterling Clark (1923-1955); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

John Singer Sargent

American, 1856–1925

Neapolitan Children Bathing


Oil on canvas

10 9/16 x 16 3/16 in. (26.8 x 41.1 cm) Frame: 16 1/8 x 21 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (41 x 55.2 x 5.7 cm)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1923




Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990.