John Singer Sargent, ‘Pomegranates, Majorca’ (detail), 1908, oil on canvas

Organised by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Sargent and Spain at the De Young Museum (Feb 11-May 14) is the first exhibition to explore the influence of Spanish culture on John Singer Sargent as reflected in powerful oils and watercolours depicting the country’s rich traditions, its people and its urban and rural landscapes. Sargent (1856-1925) was born in Florence to American parents, trained in Paris and spent most of his life in Europe. Considered a ‘society artist’, he was generally disregarded by art historians until the late 20th century, when his portraiture in particular was re-evaluated and recognised for its psychological complexity.