1 EAGLETON NOTES: Whistler

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Whistler

This week we visited the Huntarian Art Gallery. I enjoy going back every so often to see the Whistler collection and a few other special pieces. Often there is a special exhibition and I never cease to be amazed when I find something new to see in a work I've seen a dozen time before.

Anyone who knows the work of the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 to 1903) will have their favourites (assuming they like his work). His most iconic works (I think) are his life-size portraits which started with The Symphony in White No 1. The Hunterian has a significant number of these portraits. However whilst they are wonderful works (they have a vaguely Pre-Raphaelite feel about them which attracts me) far and away my favourite work is a small portrait apparently unusually done in one sitting entitled Dorothy Seaton, A Daughter of Eve (1903).

There are a great many versions of this image on the internet including an enlargable one on the Hunterian website at the last link I have given .

This is how I see it:


10 comments:

  1. You obviously take advantage of opportunities to see and appreciate art.

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  2. He was very much a 'society portrait painter', but nothing wrong with that; they're the people who have the money. There's no question about it, he was a very good painter.

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    1. The odd thing is Cro that I'm very selective when it comes to portraits. For some reason his fascinate me and I think it's because of my love of the Pre-Raphaelites. I see a connection. Why I love the Pre-Raphaelites though is even more of a puzzle. I fell in love when I saw an exhibition of William Holman Hunt's work at the Walker Art Gallery in about 1965. This particular portrait though is one I could look at for hours.

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  3. I am not familiar with his work. Like you, I love discovering new aspects about or detail on a work of art that I may have seen many times before. If an exhibtion manages that, it is a good one!

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    1. We are in agreement as so often Meike.

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  4. Thanks for the art education and for sharing such a fascinating, dreamy picture. She looks so faraway.

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    1. I think, YP, that is what draws me to her portrait.

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  5. Can't say I know this artist - at least not well enough to have my own favourites among his works. Scrolling trhough the article now, I see more that immediately draw my eye, though. Like that Symphony in White No 1.

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    1. Monica he was quite prolific and varied in his output but it's his portraits that have always attracted my attention.

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