“In Capri, housetops are the world,” wrote John Singer Sargent. Capri Girl on Rooftop is one of several scenes he painted of rooftop activities such as dancing, painting, and entertaining. The main figure is Rosina Ferrara, a favorite model of many artists known for her beauty. She dances the tarantella, a traditional folk dance about love, and is silhouetted against a setting sky. Sargent does not rely on a sentimental narrative of Capri, but rather focuses on color, light, and composition to evoke a mood.


  • Title: Capri Girl on a Rooftop
  • Creator: John Singer Sargent
  • Date Created: 1878
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 x 25 in. (50.8 x 63.5 cm)
  • Provenance: given by the Artist to Frances Sherburne Ridley Watts [1858-1927], 1907; by descent to Baroness d'Aubas de Gratiollet (her goddaughter), Kent, England, 1927; (Coe Kerr Gallery, New York, NY), 1981; Beverly J. Gelfand and Herbert M. Gelfand, Beverly Hills, CA, 1981; (Coe Kerr Gallery and Berry-Hill Galleries, New York, NY), 1982; purchased by Gulf States Paper Corporation, name changed to Westervelt Company, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1983; to (Christie's, New York, NY), 2011; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2011
  • Subject Keywords: women
  • Rights: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • External Link: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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