Fountain of Neptune (1902). John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). Oil on board. Art Institute of Chicago.
Fountain of Neptune depicts a portion of the 16th-century fountain in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Painting his composition on site, en plein air, Sargent chose an up-close, truncated view of the sculpture, focusing not on the god of Neptune, but on the twisting, muscular bodies of other bronze figures adorning the fountain. Sargent skillfully depicted the play of light on the intricate surfaces of architecture and sculpture.