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Nocturne: Blue and Silver — Chelsea through James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). 1871. Oil on wood. Support: 502 x 608 mm; frame: 685 x 825 x 45 mm. The paint is in the Tate Gallery"s Collection, having been bequeathed by miss Rachel and Miss Jean Alexander in 1972. Recommendation T01571. You re welcome made obtainable under the creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported) licence.

Whistler"s fascination with the flow Thames to be soon noticeable — in, because that example, his etching The pool of London, native the really year he an initial arrived in England, in 1859. Transforms become obvious in his etchings reasonably early on: in Battersea Dawn (Cadogan Pier) that 1863, because that instance, light effects and atmosphere have actually superseded an exact details the riverine activity. By the time he began the series of paints which currently seem many characteristic the the means he witnessed the river, in the beforehand 1870s, that was really presenting "a new and radically various interpretation of the river, ... Citing "line, type and colour" together his main concerns" (Jacklin 216).

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As partially displayed in the Tate"s catalogue entry, the times reviewer that 14 November 1871 to be unusually appreciative of 2 of the Nocturnes ("Variations in Violet and also Green," and also "Harmony in blue environment-friendly — Moonlight"), praising castle as

illustrations of the theory, not confined to this painter, however most conspicuously and ably resolved by him, that painting is so very closely akin come music the the color of the one may and should it is in used, choose the ordered sounds of the other, as means and impacts of pass out emotion; that painting must not aim at expressing dramatic emotions, depicting incidents that history, or recording facts of nature, however should it is in content through moulding ours moods and also stirring ours imaginations, by subtle combinations that colour, v which all that painting has to say come us have the right to be said, and also beyond which painting has actually no an useful or true speech whatever.

This enlightened reviewer notes the such principles were currently prevalent, because, that course, they to be being put right into practice by the young French artist of the day, the up-and-coming Impressionists: "It to be Whistler"s destiny to kind an intellectual bridge between Paris and also London," to write Lionel Lambourne (465).

The reviewer likewise notes the Japanese affect here, and ascribes Whistler"s enhancement of his monogram as a "coloured cartouche" come this affect as well. This was astute of him: Whistler had actually written come his girlfriend Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) as early as 1862 the the Japanese interpreted the kind of result he was aiming at, v colour applied as if "embroidered on the canvas" (qtd. In Lambourne 465). The influence of Japanese arts on both sides of the Channel right now is well known.

Stoutly defending Whistler versus criticism, the time reviewer points to the etchings together proof that the artist"s talents as a draughtsman, and admires the new approach, finding it original — and also insisting that even Whistler"s doubters must feeling the "beauty and charm sui generis of these pictures" ("Dudley Gallery"). — Jacqueline Banerjee

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Bibliography

"Dudley Gallery. — Cabinet images In Oil." Times, 14 November 1871: 4. The time Digital Archive. Web. 29 January 2018.

Fowle, Frances. Catalogue Entry, December 2000. Tate. Web. 28 January 2018.

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Jacklin, Elizabeth. In The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London: French artist in Exile, 1870-1904. Ed. Caroline Corbeau-Parsons. London: Tate Enterprises, 2017. 216.