Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian
Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian is a painting by James McNeill Whistler. The work shows a woman in full figure standing with her back to the viewer, with her head in profile; the model is the artist's secretary and sister-in-law. The colour scheme of the painting is mother of pearl and silver; the title refers to Ethel’s grey silk evening dress, a Parisian dress in a belle époque style, with the transparent layered sleeves of the black bolero jacket resembling a traditional Andalusian costume. James McNeill Whistler was born in the United States in 1834, the son of George Washington Whistler, a railway engineer. In 1843, his father relocated the family to Saint Petersburg, where James received training in painting. After a stay in England, he returned to America to attend the US Military Academy at West Point in 1851. In 1855, he made his way back to Europe, determined to dedicate himself to painting, he settled in Paris at first, but in 1859 moved to London, where he would spend most of the remainder of his life.
Although he returned to Paris from 1892 to 1901 and resided at n° 110 Rue du Bac, with his studio at the top of 86 Rue Notre Dame des Champs. Ethel Birnie Philip was born at Chelsea, London on 29 September 1861. Ethel was the daughter of the sculptor John Birnie Frances Black, her sister Beatrice married James McNeill Whistler in 1888. Ethel worked for a time in 1893-4 as secretary to Whistler. Ethel married Charles Whibley in 1896 in the garden of the house occupied by Whistler at n° 110 rue du Bac, Paris, her sister Rosalind Birnie Philip subsequently acted as secretary to Whistler and was appointed Whistler's executrix at his death. Whistler painted a number of full-length portraits of Ethel, including Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian and the watercolour Rose and Silver: Portrait of Mrs Whibley. Whistler commenced work on The Andalusian in London in 1888, the year Whistler married Beatrix, with the painting being completed in Paris in 1900. Anderson, Ronald. James McNeill Whistler: Beyond the Myth.
London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5027-0. Batchelor, Bob; the 1900s. Westport, Conn.. ISBN 0-313-31334-2. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009. Craven, Wayne. American Art: History and Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-141524-6. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009. Kramer, Hilton; the Age of the Avant-Garde: An Art Chronicle of 1956-1972. London: Secker and Warburg. ISBN 0-436-23685-0. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009. McLaren Young, MacDonald, Margaret F. Spencer and Miles, Hamish; the Paintings of James McNeill Whistler. New Haven and London: 2 vols, Yale University Press. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list MacDonald, Margaret F. Galassi, Susan Grace and Ribeiro, Aileen. Whistler, Women, & Fashion. Frick Collection/Yale University. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list MacDonald, Margaret F.. "Whistler, James McNeill". Grove Art Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009.. Newton, Joy. "Whistler: Search for a European Reputation". Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. 41. JSTOR 1481962.. Schlossman, Beryl. Objects of Desire: The Madonnas of Modernism.
Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-3649-4. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009. Spencer, Robin. "Whistler, James Abbott McNeill". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36855. Taylor, Hilary. James McNeill Whistler. London: Studio Vista. ISBN 0-289-70836-2. Weintraub, Stanley. Whistler: A biography. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-211994-3. At the National Gallery of Art
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake", his famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality: his art is characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative, he found a parallel between painting and music and entitled many of his paintings "arrangements", "harmonies", "nocturnes", emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. His most famous painting is Arrangement in Black No. 1 known as Whistler's Mother, the revered and parodied portrait of motherhood. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers. James Abbott Whistler was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on July 11, 1834, the first child of Anna McNeill Whistler and George Washington Whistler, the brother of Confederate surgeon Dr. William McNeill Whistler.
His father was a railroad engineer, Anna was his second wife. James lived the first three years of his life in a modest house at 243 Worthen Street in Lowell; the house is now the Whistler House Museum of a museum dedicated to him. He claimed St. Petersburg, Russia as his birthplace during the Ruskin trial: "I shall be born when and where I want, I do not choose to be born in Lowell."The family moved from Lowell to Stonington, Connecticut in 1837, where his father worked for the Stonington Railroad. Three of the couple's children died in infancy during this period, their fortunes improved in 1839 when his father became chief engineer for the Boston & Albany Railroad, the family built a mansion in Springfield, Massachusetts where the Wood Museum of History now stands.) They lived in Springfield until they left the United States in late 1842. Nicholas I of Russia learned of George Whistler's ingenuity in engineering the Boston & Albany Railroad, he offered him a position in 1842 engineering a railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow, the family moved from to St. Petersburg in the winter of 1842/43.
Whistler was a moody child prone to fits of temper and insolence, he drifted into periods of laziness after bouts of illness. His parents discovered that drawing settled him down and helped focus his attention. In years, he played up his mother's connection to the American South and its roots, he presented himself as an impoverished Southern aristocrat, although it remains unclear to what extent he sympathized with the Southern cause during the American Civil War, he adopted his mother's maiden name. Beginning in 1842, his father was employed to work on a railroad in Russia. After moving to St. Petersburg to join his father a year the young Whistler took private art lessons enrolled in the Imperial Academy of Arts at age eleven; the young artist followed the traditional curriculum of drawing from plaster casts and occasional live models, reveled in the atmosphere of art talk with older peers, pleased his parents with a first-class mark in anatomy. In 1844, he met the noted artist Sir William Allan, who came to Russia with a commission to paint a history of the life of Peter the Great.
Whistler's mother noted in her diary, "the great artist remarked to me'Your little boy has uncommon genius, but do not urge him beyond his inclination.'"In 1847-48, his family spent some time in London with relatives, while his father stayed in Russia. Whistler's brother-in-law Francis Haden, a physician, an artist, spurred his interest in art and photography. Haden took Whistler to visit collectors and to lectures, gave him a watercolor set with instruction. Whistler was imagining an art career, he began to collect books on art and he studied other artists' techniques. When his portrait was painted by Sir William Boxall in 1848, the young Whistler exclaimed that the portrait was "very much like me and a fine picture. Mr. Boxall is a beautiful colourist... It is a beautiful creamy surface, looks so rich." In his blossoming enthusiasm for art, at fifteen, he informed his father by letter of his future direction, "I hope, dear father, you will not object to my choice." His father, died from cholera at the age of forty-nine, the Whistler family moved back to his mother's hometown of Pomfret, Connecticut.
His art plans remained vague and his future uncertain. The family managed to get by on a limited income, his cousin reported that Whistler at that time was "slight, with a pensive, delicate face, shaded by soft brown curls... he had a somewhat foreign appearance and manner, aided by natural abilities, made him charming at that age." Whistler was sent to Christ Church Hall School with his mother's hopes that he would become a minister. Whistler was without his sketchbook and was popular with his classmates for his caricatures. However, it became clear that a career in religion did not suit him, so he applied to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where his father had taught drawing and other relatives had attended, he was admitted to the selective institution in July 1851 on the strength of his family name, despite his extreme nearsightedness and poor health history. However, during his three years there, his grades were satisfactory, he was a sorry sight at drill and dress, known as "Curly" for his hair length which exceeded regulations.
Whistler bucked authority, spouted sarcastic comments, racked up deme
Whistler House Museum of Art
The Whistler House Museum of Art is the birthplace of painter and etcher James McNeill Whistler. It is located at 243 Worthen Street, Massachusetts, USA, is open as a museum displaying works from the museum collection and shows by artist members; the house was built in 1823 by the Locks and Canals Company for their manager. Paul Moody, master mechanic and inventor, was the first resident of the house. Upon becoming Chief Engineer in 1834, George Washington Whistler lived in the house with his wife, Anna Matilda McNeill Whistler, their son James Whistler was born in 1834 there. James B. Francis took over as chief engineer and moved into the house in 1837 when G. W. Whistler moved to Russia. James Francis married Sarah, they raised their six children here. In 1907 the home was opened in 1908 as a museum; the first floor and second floor hall and bedrooms now house the WHMA's Permanent collection, including one room dedicated to the etchings of James McNeil Whistler. The top floor is a working artist studio.
In the rear of the home is the Parker Gallery, where new exhibits are shown. David Dalhoff Neal oil on canvas Thomas B. Lawson Hanging Grapes oil on canvas List of historic houses in Massachusetts Official website
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle is an 1872–73 oil painting by James McNeill Whistler. It depicts the Scottish social critic and historian Thomas Carlyle in a composition similar to that of Whistler's Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother, painted in 1871. It is now in Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. By the time he sat for Whistler, Thomas Carlyle had lived in Chelsea, for 47 years, was one of its most recognized residents, he lived at 24 Cheyne Row, now Carlyle's House, preserved as a museum near to Lindsey House, now 96 Cheyne Walk, where Whistler had his studio. Accompanied by a mutual friend, Carlyle visited Whistler's studio, viewed the painting of the artist's mother, according to Whistler "He liked the simplicity of it, the old lady sitting with her hands in her lap, said he would be painted, and he came one morning soon, he sat down, I had the canvas ready, my brushes and palette, Carlyle said,'And now, fire away!'" There exist four preparatory studies in oil, several drawings related to the finished painting.
Several sketches in the Freer Gallery of Art suggest that while Whistler based the composition on the painting of his mother, he considered variations: a chalk drawing shows Carlyle seated at an angle to the wall, a corner of the room shown at left, without the coat that would be thrown over his lap in the painting. In the painting Whistler reverted to the planar composition of Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Artist's Mother, included the robe that created a broader shape, reminiscent of the dress from the earlier picture; the canvas is larger than that of the portrait of Mrs. Whistler, is of a vertical format. Other differences include a subtle turn of the subject's head toward the viewer, the shape caused by the bunching up of Carlyle's coat; the composition with a profile figure painted in a range of dark tones is shared with the Portrait of the Artist's Mother, as is the over-riding concern with aesthetic arrangement, for all the two works' psychological penetration. Whistler painted the preeminent moral philosopher of his time as a nuanced study in shapes and colours.
Though Whistler had requested two or three sittings, Carlyle posed from 1872 into the summer of 1873. Several witnesses recounted Carlyle's stillness juxtaposed with Whistler's frenetic working movements, with the artist Hugh Cameron recalling "It was the funniest thing I saw. There was Carlyle sitting motionless, like a Heathen God or Oriental sage, Whistler hopping about like a sparrow. Years Whistler wrote of Carlyle: "He is a favorite of mine. I like the gentle sadness about him! -- he was sensitive -- and misunderstood -- who knows!" Whistler's reference to sadness, the sense of'turbulence' in the characterization, may have reflected the remorse of Carlyle's years, following the death of his wife Jane Welsh Carlyle in 1866. While sitting for Whistler, Carlyle wrote in his journal "More and more dreary, barren and ugly seem to me all the aspects of this poor diminishing quack world." In 1891 Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle became the artist's first painting to enter a public collection when it was purchased, at the insistence of the Glasgow Boys, by the City of Glasgow.
Curry, David Park. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. New York, 1984. ISBN 0-393-01847-4 Dorment, MacDonald, Margaret F. et al. Whistler. Tate Gallery, London, 1994. ISBN 0-89468-212-1 Spencer, Robin. Whistler. Studio Editions, London, 1993. ISBN 1-85170-904-5
George Washington Whistler
George Washington Whistler was a prominent American civil engineer best known for building steam locomotives and railroads. He is credited with introducing the steam whistle to American locomotives. In 1842, Czar Nicholas I hired him to build the Saint Petersburg–Moscow Railway, Russia's first large-scale railroad. One of Whistler's important influences was the introduction of the Howe truss for the Russian railroad's bridges; this inspired the renowned Russian engineer Dmitrii Ivanovich Zhuravskii to perform studies and develop structural analysis techniques for Howe truss bridges. He was the father of American artist James McNeill Whistler, whose painting Whistler's Mother is among the most famous paintings in American art. George Washington Whistler was born on May 19, 1800, at the military outpost of Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Major John Whistler and his wife Anna Bishop. Ft. Wayne at that time was a part of the great Northwest Territory, his father had been a British soldier under General Burgoyne at the Battles of Saratoga in the Revolutionary War to enlist in American service.
Whistler had three children with his first wife, Mary Roberdeau Swift, who died at a young age in 1827. Whistler married the sister of his friend William Gibbs McNeill, Anna Mathilda McNeill, with whom he had five sons: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, William McNeill Whistler, Kirk Boott named after Kirk Boott, Charles Donald Whistler, John Bouttatz Whistler, named after Whistler's Russian engineer friend Major Ivan F. Bouttatz. Whistler graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1819. Upon graduation, Whistler was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Artillery serving as a topography engineer at Fort Columbus, New York, from 1819 to 1821; when the Army was reorganized in 1821, he became a Second Lieutenant in the First Artillery. From 1821 to 1822, Whistler was an Assistant Professor of Drawing at West Point. Whistler was reassigned back to artillery corps duty as a topographical engineer in 1822, his first assignment was supporting the Commission tracing the international boundary between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods.
Subsequent to the passage of the General Survey Act of 1824, Whistler conducted surveys for locating railroads working under John James Abert, the head of the Topographic Bureau. In 1827, Whistler's brother-in-law and fellow engineer William Gibbs McNeill became a member of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad's "Board of Civil Engineers for the Construction of the Road". Still on active duty, Whistler joined the railroad's engineer corps the next year in 1828. Together, Whistler, McNeill, Jonathan Knight went to Great Britain to study railroad engineering, where they were welcomed by President Telford, of the British Institution of Civil Engineers, where they met with George Stephenson and son, John Walker, Joseph Locke, Jesse Hartley, other eminent British engineers, they saw the British railroad, the Stockton and Darlington, the world's first public railway to use steam locomotives. As one observer wrote: " Apparently there was nothing to keep American engineers with adequate credentials from seeing all they wanted to see and from asking about all that they wanted to learn.
As a result the American engineers developed knowledge of railroads in three areas - locomotives and inclined planes, the two "new" elements in railroads, the uses of materials- stone and iron- in construction, the principles of laying out routes feasible for railroad travel."Whistler supervised construction of the first rails on the railroad in October 1829, consisting of wood and iron from Pratt Street to the Carrollton Viaduct. The railroad's future road master, Wendel Bollman, helped with the construction layout as a fifteen-year-old carpenter. In 1830, McNeill and Whistler entered the service of the Baltimore and Susquehanna railroad, Whistler remaining on the project for the first 20 miles of main and branch track had been completed. In 1831‑32, Whistler provided engineering services for the Paterson and Hudson River railroad Railroad. Whistler resigned his army engineer commission in December 1833. In 1835, along with William Gibbs McNeill, Whistler designed the Boston & Providence Railroad, which included the famous Canton Viaduct, in continuous service for 174 years.
In 1834, Whistler became chief engineer at the Proprietors of Locks and Canals in the new city of Lowell, Massachusetts. Whistler was one of the few locomotive designers and builders in the early 19th century that had an academic education; as superintendent of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals Co. water powered machine shop in Lowell, Whistler was responsible for the design of the earliest steam locomotive built in New England. In 1835, he worked with Patrick Tracy Jackson to begin the Lowell Railroad. Whistler's first locomotive, the Patrick, was produced for the Lowell Railroad; this locomotive and others built by the firm were copies of Stephenson Planet types. In 1836, the first two steam locomotives known to have been equipped with whistles were built by Whistler as 2-2-0 types. In 1838, Baltimore and Ohio railroad engineers Knight and Latrobe surveyed steam locomotives for their management, some of which included machines built in Whistler's Lowell shops; the engine burns one cord of wood in each circular trip of 48 miles, conveying an average load of twenty tons of freight, in four cars, each w
Beatrice Whistler was born in Chelsea, London on 12 May 1857. She was the eldest daughter of ten children of the sculptor John Birnie Frances Black, she studied art in her father's studio and with Edward William Godwin, an architect-designer. On 4 January 1876 she became the second wife of Edward Godwin. Following the death of Godwin, Beatrice married James McNeill Whistler on 11 August 1888. Edward Godwin and Beatrice had a son together called Edward, who became known as a sculptor, he created the bronze angels. Her sister Ethel Whibley had been the secretary to Whistler before her marriage to the writer Charles Whibley. After the death of Beatrice in 1896, her younger sister Rosalind Birnie Philip acted as secretary to Whistler and was appointed Whistler's executrix in his will. In Whistler's correspondence Beatrice was referred to as'Trixie' or'Chinkie' and ‘Luck’ and ‘Wam’. Maud Franklin became Whistler's mistress, she called herself "Mrs Whistler", with Whistler referring to her in company as "Madame".
Whistler showed no intention of marrying Maud. Through his friendship with Edward Godwin, Whistler become close to Beatrice. Whistler painted her in the full-length portrait titled Harmony in Red: Lamplight. In 1885 Beatrice separated from her husband as a result of his compulsive philandering. Godwin died in 1886. By the summer of 1888 Whistler and Beatrice appeared in public as a couple. At a dinner Louise Jopling and Henry Labouchère insisted that they should be married before the end of the week; the wedding was arranged, as a MP, Henry Labouchère arranged for the Chaplain to the House of Commons to marry the couple. No publicity was given to the ceremony to avoid the possibility of a furious Maud Franklin interrupting the marriage ceremony; the marriage took place on 11 August 1888, with the ceremony attended by a reporter from the Pall Mall Gazette, so that the event received publicity after the event. The couple left soon after for Paris. After their marriage they lived in Tower House, 33 Tite Street in 1889, Whistler and Beatrice moved to 21 Cheyne Walk, in Chelsea, London.
After an indifferent reception to his solo show in the Goupil Gallery, featuring his nocturnes, Whistler abruptly decided he had had enough of London. He and Beatrice moved to Paris in 1892 and resided at n° 110 Rue du Bac, with his studio at the top of 86 Rue Notre Dame des Champs in Montparnasse, he was at the top of his career. They returned to London in February 1896, taking rooms at the Savoy Hotel while they sought medical treatment. Whistler's portraits of her, The Siesta and By the Balcony, were drawn, she died at St. Jude's Cottage in Hampstead Heath on 10 May 1896 and was buried on her birthday, 12 May, in Chiswick Old Cemetery in the London Borough of Hounslow. Following his death Whistler was buried in the same tomb as his wife. Beatrice signed her work with a monogram or trefoil'BP', then'BG', she exhibited as'Rix Birnie' to avoid being stigmatised as a female artist. A limited number of her works remain: oil studies The Novel and The Muslin Gown are in private collections. C, her jewellery designs are in the National Gallery of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.
Images of her that were painted by Whistler include: Paintings Harmony in Red: Lamplight, a full-length portrait. Drawings The Siesta and By the Balcony. Louise Jopling, a poet and portrait painter painted a portrait of Beatrice. MacDonald, Margaret F. Beatrice Whistler Artist and Designer, Glasgow, 1997. MacDonald, Margaret F. Beatrice Philip, Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004. MacDonald, Margaret F. James McNeill Whistler. Drawings and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995. MacDonald, Margaret F. Galassi, Susan Grace and Ribeiro, Whistler, Women, & Fashion, Frick Collection/Yale University, 2003. McLaren Young, MacDonald, Margaret F. Spencer and Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980. Pennell and Elizabeth Robin The Life of James McNeill Whistler; the Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, Glasgow University Edited by M. F. MacDonald, P.de Montfort, N. Thorp. Catalogue raisonné of the etchings of James McNeill Whistler by M.
F. MacDonald, G. Petri, M. Hausberg, J. Meacock; the Whistler Collection at University of Glasgow, Hunterian Art Gallery, including works from Whistler's estate. University of Glasgow, Special Collections
The Princess from the Land of Porcelain
Rose and Silver: The Princess from the Land of Porcelain is a painting by American-born artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler. It was painted between 1863 and 1865; the painting hangs above the fireplace in The Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. Princess depicts a beautiful Western woman wearing a Hanfu and standing amidst numerous Asian objects, including a rug and screen as well as some porcelain, she holds a hand fan and looks at the viewer "wistfully". The entirety is rendered in an impressionistic manner. Princess's frame is decorated with a similar motif to the painting, with interlocking circles and numerous rectangles. Aiko Okamoto-MacPhall notes that Whistler at the time he painted Princess used large amounts of gold color, such as in his themed Caprice in Purple and Gold No.2: The Gold Screen. Although the painting itself does not include any shades of gold, while displayed at the home of British shipping magnate Frederick Leyland it was set in a gold and blue interior.
Princess was painted between 1863 and 1865 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, with Christine Spartali, the sister of Pre-Raphaelite artist Marie Spartali Stillman, serving as the model. Princess is one of several of Whistler's works painted during this period that depict a Western woman in Asian surroundings and Asian clothes. Like in several other of his works, Whistler used sketches to prepare the general layout of the work. Other details were added in later. A surviving sketch depicts flowers, which were eliminated from the work; the white Japanese screen in the background may have been one owned by Whistler. When the portrait was completed, Spartali's father refused to purchase it; this may have led Whistler to develop his butterfly-style signature. The early history of the painting afterwards is uncertain. In 1865 Princess was displayed at the Paris Salon; the following year, it was displayed at Gambart's French Gallery in London. It was sold by either Rossetti or Joanna Hiffernan, Whistler's muse and lover, to an unknown art collector thought to be Frederick Huth.
Princess was returned to Whistler in 1867. Several years the portrait was bought by Leyland He displayed Princess in a dining room filled with Kangxi ceramics, but was displeased how it had been decorated by a previous artist, Thomas Jeckyll. Whistler suggested that Leyland modify the coloring of the room to better accent his new acquisition; the result was The Peacock Room. However, Whistler's modifications were more in-depth than those wished for by Leyland, resulting in a quarrel between the two. In 1892, after Leyland's death, Princess was sold at Christie's in London to Alexander Reid. Princess was acquired by Charles Lang Freer on August 20, 1903, under the title The Princess of Porcelain for £3,750 on Bond Street, in London, he kept it in his home in Michigan. In 1906 he donated both to the Smithsonian. After Freer's death in 1919, both Princess and The Peacock Room were moved to the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. a Smithsonian museum established by Freer. Princess continues to be housed in The Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery, shown hung above the fireplace amidst a rotating stock of Asian ceramics.
In 2011, the Princess was digitized with over 1 gigapixel of resolution by the Google Art Project. Critics have seen influences of Japanese woodblock maker Kitagawa Utamaro in the painting, as well as 18th-century French chinoiserie stylings. In a review for the 1865 Paris Salon, Gustave Vattier wrote that the painting was not ready for display, saying that "a child's breath could blow it over". In her doctoral dissertation, Caroline Doswell Older wrote that, when viewed without its frame, Princess came across as a being like a cropped, carelessly taken photograph which seems as if it would be swallowed up by The Peacock Room. However, with its frame, she finds it an "aesthetic object with enough presence to hold its own" in the decorated room. Footnotes Bibliography