Whistler (French Edition)
Whistler Etchings :: Sets
The memories that the latter evokes are more about the crispy baguettes, hot chocolate and wine rather than the language. Some I could understand, while others left me completely lost. In the last few months I met a new Francophone friend who has brought me a new understanding of what it means to speak both English and French. Before this encounter I had no idea what the Saint-Jean-Baptiste was about, but the 'joie de vivre' of this group left me intrigued.
This time I intend to raise my own glass and get better acquainted with our Sea to Sky Francophones and what they contribute to our eclectic Whistler lifestyle. The Francophone community in Canada comes from a tiny French-speaking population of about 2, settlers, whose descendents have now grown to around eight million people. Although the majority of these speakers reside in Quebec, French-speaking Canadians are found coast to coast.
My first question was how many Francophones are there in the Sea to Sky Corridor?
But according to Statistics Canada, there were just over nine hundred people who indicated that their mother tongue was French, which would represent 3. The highest Francophone population is in Whistler with 5.
The 'French Set'
This is almost a full percentage point higher than Banff, which is also an important ski destination for Francophone speakers - especially as it is in a National Park that requires many of its employees to be bilingual. A look at the number of students studying in the three French schools of the corridor is also a good way to track the Francophones in the community. At present there are students spread between Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. We feel solicitous towards the little girl standing at the gate in close proximity to the building.
UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW
Jacob van Ruisdael, The Little Bridge. Of this etching, Whistler expert Katharine Lochnan comments: 'Whistler used the same vocabulary of line and strong chiaroscuro found in Jacque to describe some of the wall in minute detail, while leaving others virtually unworked. He dramatized the composition by showing the building in raking light with a great web of black shadow. The carefully delineated contours and the short curved and vertical lines, sometimes crossed by horizontal lines to create a grid of shadow, once again recall the lines of Charles Jacque' p.
This impression is from the fourth and final state of the etching, where the printer's details have been removed. Edward G. Constance C. About Collections Online. The French set.
The unsafe tenement. Object Part of Art collection. This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions. Buy or License. Item details Name The French set. Production James Whistler; artist; Classification prints, etchings, works on paper. Materials paper, ink. Turner , reviewed Whistler's work in his publication Fors Clavigera on July 2, Ruskin praised Burne-Jones, while he attacked Whistler:. For Mr. Whistler's own sake, no less than for the protection of the purchaser, Sir Coutts Lindsay [founder of the Grosvenor Gallery ] ought not to have admitted works into the gallery in which the ill-educated conceit of the artist so nearly approached the aspect of willful imposture.
I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face. Whistler, seeing the attack in the newspaper, replied to his friend George Boughton , "It is the most debased style of criticism I have had thrown at me yet. The case came to trial the following year after delays caused by Ruskin's bouts of mental illness, while Whistler's financial condition continued to deteriorate.
Whistler: "It is a night piece and represents the fireworks at Cremorne Gardens. Whistler: "If it were A View of Cremorne it would certainly bring about nothing but disappointment on the part of the beholders. It is an artistic arrangement. That is why I call it a nocturne. Holker: "Did it take you much time to paint the Nocturne in Black and Gold?
How soon did you knock it off? Whistler: "Oh, I 'knock one off' possibly in a couple of days — one day to do the work and another to finish it Whistler: "No, I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime. Whistler had counted on many artists to take his side as witnesses, but they refused, fearing damage to their reputations. The other witnesses for him were unconvincing and the jury's own reaction to the work was derisive.
With Ruskin's witnesses more impressive, including Edward Burne-Jones , and with Ruskin absent for medical reasons, Whistler's counter-attack was ineffective. Nonetheless, the jury reached a verdict in favor of Whistler, but awarded a mere farthing in nominal damages, and the court costs were split. Godwin , —8 , bankrupted him by May ,  resulting in an auction of his work, collections, and house. Stansky  notes the irony that the Fine Art Society of London , which had organized a collection to pay for Ruskin's legal costs, supported him in etching "The Stones of Venice" and in exhibiting the series in , which helped recoup Whistler's costs.
Whistler published his account of the trial in the pamphlet Whistler v. Whistler's grand hope that the publicity of the trial would rescue his career was dashed as he lost rather than gained popularity among patrons because of it. Among his creditors was Leyland, who oversaw the sale of Whistler's possessions. Whistler always blamed Leyland for his financial downfall. After the trial, Whistler received a commission to do twelve etchings in Venice. He eagerly accepted the assignment, and arrived in the city with girlfriend Maud, taking rooms in a dilapidated palazzo they shared with other artists, including John Singer Sargent.
He did his best to distract himself from the gloom of his financial affairs and the pending sale of all his goods at Sotheby's. He was a regular guest at parties at the American consulate, and with his usual wit, enchanted the guests with verbal flourishes such as "the artist's only positive virtue is idleness—and there are so few who are gifted at it.
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His new friends reported, on the contrary, that Whistler rose early and put in a full day of effort. During this exceptionally productive period, Whistler finished over fifty etchings, several nocturnes, some watercolors, and over pastels—illustrating both the moods of Venice and its fine architectural details. Back in London, the pastels sold particularly well and he quipped, "They are not as good as I supposed. They are selling! Though still struggling financially, however, he was heartened by the attention and admiration he received from the younger generation of English and American painters who made him their idol and eagerly adopted the title "pupil of Whistler".
Many of them returned to America and spread tales of Whistler's provocative egotism, sharp wit, and aesthetic pronouncements—establishing the legend of Whistler, much to his great satisfaction. Whistler published his first book, Ten O'clock Lecture in , a major expression of his belief in "art for art's sake". At the time, the opposing Victorian notion reigned, namely, that art, and indeed much human activity, had a moral or social function. To Whistler, however, art was its own end and the artist's responsibility was not to society, but to himself, to interpret through art, and to neither reproduce nor moralize what he saw.
Though differing with Whistler on several points, including his insistence that poetry was a higher form of art than painting,  Oscar Wilde was generous in his praise and hailed the lecture a masterpiece:. And I may add that in this opinion Mr. Whistler himself entirely concurs. Whistler, however, thought himself mocked by Oscar Wilde, and from then on, public sparring ensued leading to a total breakdown of their friendship. In January , Anna Whistler died.
In his mother's honor, thereafter, he publicly adopted her maiden name McNeill as a middle name. Whistler joined the Society of British Artists in , and on June 1, , he was elected president. The following year, during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee , Whistler presented to the Queen, on the Society's behalf, an elaborate album including a lengthy written address and illustrations that he made. Queen Victoria so admired "the beautiful and artistic illumination" that she decreed henceforth, "that the Society should be called Royal. Whistler proposed that members of the Royal Society should withdraw from the Royal Academy.
This ignited a feud within the membership ranks that overshadowed all other society business. In May , nine members wrote to Whistler to demand his resignation. At the annual meeting on June 4, he was defeated for reelection by a vote of 18—19, with nine abstentions. Whistler and twenty-five supporters resigned,  while the anti-Whistler majority in his view was successful in purging him for his "eccentricities" and "non-English" background. With his relationship with Maud unraveling, Whistler suddenly proposed to and married Beatrice Godwin also called 'Beatrix' or 'Trixie' , a former pupil and the widow of his architect Edward William Godwin.
The couple left soon after for Paris, to avoid any risk of a scene with Maud. Whistler's reputation in London and Paris was rising and he gained positive reviews from critics and new commissions. In , he met Charles Lang Freer , who became a valuable patron in America, and ultimately, his most important collector. This was much less than what an American collector might have paid, but that would not have been so prestigious by Whistler's reckoning.
After an indifferent reception to his solo show in London, featuring mostly his nocturnes, Whistler abruptly decided he had had enough of London.
He was at the top of his career when it was discovered that Trixie had cancer. They returned to London in February , taking rooms at the Savoy Hotel while they sought medical treatment. He made drawings on lithographic transfer paper of the view of the River Thames , from the hotel window or balcony, as he sat with her. Charles Freer introduced Whistler to his friend and fellow businessman, Richard Albert Canfield , in who became a personal friend and patron of Whistler's. Canfield owned a number of fashionable gambling houses in New York, Rhode Island, Saratoga Springs and Newport, and was also a man of culture with refined tastes in art.
Canfield owned early American and Chippendale furniture, tapestries, Chinese porcelain and Barye bronzes. Canfield soon possessed the second largest and most important Whistler collection in the world prior to his death in A few months before his death, Canfield sold his collection of etchings, lithographs, drawings and paintings by Whistler to the American art dealer Roland F.
Canfield came to own numerous paintings by Whistler. In May Canfield commissioned a portrait from Whistler. He started to pose for Portrait of Richard A. However, Whistler was ill and frail at this time and the work was his last completed portrait. The deceptive air of respectability that the portrait gave Canfield caused Whistler to call it 'His Reverence'. The two men were in correspondence from until Whistler's death. In the final seven years of his life, Whistler did some minimalist seascapes in watercolor and a final self-portrait in oil.
He corresponded with his many friends and colleagues. Whistler founded an art school in , but his poor health and infrequent appearances led to its closure in Whistler was the subject of a biography by his friends, the husband and wife team of Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell , printmaker and art critic respectively. The Pennells' vast collection of Whistler material was bequeathed to the Library of Congress. She spent the rest of her life defending his reputation and managing his art and effects, much of which eventually was donated to Glasgow University.
Whistler had a distinctive appearance, short and slight, with piercing eyes and a curling mustache, often sporting a monocle and the flashy attire of a dandy. He often was arrogant and selfish toward friends and patrons. A constant self-promoter and egoist, he relished shocking friends and enemies. Though he could be droll and flippant about social and political matters, he always was serious about art and often invited public controversy and debate to argue for his strongly held theories. Whistler had a high-pitched, drawling voice and a unique manner of speech, full of calculated pauses.
A friend said, "In a second you discover that he is not conversing—he is sketching in words, giving impressions in sound and sense to be interpreted by the hearer. Whistler was well known for his biting wit, especially in exchanges with his friend and rival Oscar Wilde. They frequently appeared as caricatures in Punch , to their mutual amusement. On one occasion, young Oscar Wilde attended one of Whistler's dinners, and hearing his host make some brilliant remark, apparently said, "I wish I'd said that", to which Whistler riposted, "You will, Oscar, you will!
When Wilde was publicly acknowledged to be a homosexual in , Whistler openly mocked him. Whistler reveled in preparing and managing his social gatherings. As a guest observed:. One met all the best in Society there—the people with brains, and those who had enough to appreciate them. Whistler was an inimitable host.
He loved to be the Sun round whom we lesser lights revolved All came under his influence, and in consequence no one was bored, no one dull. As a young artist, he maintained a close friendship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti , a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Historians speculate that Courbet used her as the model for his erotic painting L'Origine du monde , possibly leading to the breakup of the friendship between Whistler and Courbet.
During the s and much of the s, he lived with his model-mistress Maud Franklin. Her ability to endure his long, repetitive sittings helped Whistler develop his portrait skills. She was the widow of the architect E. Godwin , who had designed Whistler's White House.
Beatrix and her sisters Rosalind Birnie Philip  and Ethel Whibley posed for many of Whistler's paintings and drawings; with Ethel Whibley modeling for Mother of pearl and silver: The Andalusian — Near the end, she lay comatose much of the time, completely subdued by morphine, given for pain relief. Her death was a strong blow Whistler never quite overcame. Whistler',  and in the census of gave her name as 'Mary M. With his pupils, he advocated simple design, economy of means, the avoidance of over-labored technique, and the tonal harmony of the final result. Like the Impressionists, he employed nature as an artistic resource.