DAILY ART FIX: The mysteries of “Whistler’s Mother.”

Art world links which caught my eye…

Arrangement in Grey and Black No 1, known as Whistler’s Mother.

James McNeill Whistler “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1″ (Whistler’s Mother) oil on canvas 4’9″ x 5’4”

A mother is the subject of one of the most famous paintings in history. However, the artist, James McNeill Whistler, was a Modernist painter. He claimed his was an art for art’s sake, just an arrangement of colors upon a flat surface, and named it accordingly-the official title is Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.

As The New Yorker explains it:

“Yes, one does like to make one’s mummy just as nice as possible,” Whistler allowed years later, answering friends who praised the speaking likeness of the portrayal. But he was exasperated by sentimental responses to the work. He regularly preached that subject matter should be regarded merely as a pretext for adventures in aestheticism. He said, “To me it is interesting as a picture of my mother; but what can or ought the public to care about the identity of the portrait?”

See the full article here: THE NEW YORKER – Mom’s Home The mysteries of “Whistler’s Mother.”

Hanging Whistler's 'Mother' and others at Norton Simon - Hartford Courant

It’s larger than I thought

Bonus picture

James McNeill Whistler “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 2″ (Thomas Carlyle) oil on canvas 4′ 8″ x 5′ 7”


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Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

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