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T+L Reports: Italian Idylls

Best known for his portraits of New York society, John Singer Sargent had a lifelong love affair with Italy that yielded more than 75 oils, etchings, and watercolors. In "Sargent and Italy," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, his passion is shown to have extended from the predictable—Venetian canals, Renaissance duomos—to the simplest rural garden and everyday gesture (Feb. 2- May 11).• Equally enraptured by Italy was Sargent's contemporary James McNeill Whistler, who preceded him in Venice. There he attempted to paint the city hidden from the casual tourist (even then St. Mark's was thought to be overrun). "Whistler and His Circle in Venice," at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., assembles more than 120 watercolors, drawings, etchings, pastels, and oils that inspired other artists—among them photographer Alfred Stieglitz and, of course, Sargent (Feb. 8-May 5).

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