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James abbott mc neill whistler
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James abbott mc neill whistler


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  • 1. James Abbott McNeill Whistler American-born, Europe-based (like Benjamin West) ART FOR ART'S SAKE Oils
  • 2. 1834 born in Massachusetts Dad = engineer, family moved to Russia 1847-8 traveled to London with mom, loved the art world 1845-8 art classes in St. Petersburg James Abbott McNeill Whistler
  • 3. Dad dies, mom + Whistler move back to US Tries West Point, terrible academically (Art was his only good subject) 1855 US -> Europe for the rest of his life Works as a cartographer James Abbott McNeill Whistler
  • 4. James Abbott McNeill Whistler Adopted the life of a bohemian Paris artist Taught by Charles Gleyre , who mentored French Impressionists Befriended Realist painter Gustave Courbet Learned master painting by himself through copying Rembrandt Emotional works with limited range of tones
  • 5. Unlike art academies of the time were teaching, Whistler believed in art for art's sake Moods and emotions with subtle colors Beauty, not morals Named his paintings after music, emphasizing emotions over narrative James Abbott McNeill Whistler
  • 6. Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (1862) Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother (1872)
  • 7. Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1874) Art critique John Ruskin , a Turner supporter, accused Whistler of “flinging a pot of paint in the public's face” Whistler successfully sued for libel, but reputation was damaged
  • 8. Before 1870s when Impressionists made Japanese woodblock prints trendy, Whistler showed Far East influences Admired Chinese art, especially porcelain Collected porcelain from Oxford and Sloan St. shops, owned by Murray Marks Chinese things were readily available
  • 9. Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks 1864
  • 10. 1864 The model: Joanna Hiffernan Whistler's 1860s Mistress, also in Symphony in White paintings Posed for Whistler's friend Gustave Courbet too
  • 11. 1864 Seated, casual, relaxed Body = diagonal line, fills painting Chinese brocade robe, peaches and roses, dark purple underlayer
  • 12. So basically, this. 1864 Look, purple and rose(s)! Just like the name!
  • 13. 1864 Holds up a brush in her right hand like a painter Makeup accentuates her dramatic features Hair pulled back in a Chinese court style
  • 14. Chinese things on display like in a shop TEACUP GINGER JAR TRAY FAN w/ crane Behind her back: Chinese brushes
  • 15. Background is beige and brown to make her robe and white + blue porcelain more vivid Lange Leizen refers to delicate ladies on porcelain (Long Eliza in Dutch) 6 marks = a Chinese character for authenticity
  • 16. White + blue porcelain began in China in 14 th century (1300s) 17 th century (1600s): exported to Europe Europeans began copying motifs and styles (hence the need for 6 marks) British obsession with porcelain came from obsession with tea
  • 17. Romita Ray says while tea used to be expensive, by the late 18 th century it was a national beverage In 1864, 90% oftea in England came from China Tea drove British imperialism In earlier times, England battled with the Dutch for control of tea exports (hence the use of the Dutch term Lange Leizen)
  • 18. Whistler said he wanted art for art's sake, but art historians still examine it in its original context Viewers would have been aware of references to tea