James McNeill Whistler - Nocturne, Grey and Gold 1874

Study for the Portrait of F. R. Leyland 1873 Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink. Portrait of Mrs Frances Leyland 1873 Harmony in Grey and Peach Colour 1874 Nocturne, Grey and Gold 1874 Study of Rosettes for Lady's Dress 1874 The Blue Girl 1874 Chelsea Wharf Grey and Silver 1875
Nocturne, Grey and Gold 1874

Nocturne, Grey and Gold 1874
62x47cm oil/canvas
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, UK

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From The Burrell Collection, Glasgow:
Whistler said of this painting that it represented “a very warm summer night on the Thames”. For him, painting was the ‘poetry of sight’ and he saw himself as the composer of his paintings. Whistler deliberately gave his paintings titles used in musical composition such as ‘nocturne’, ‘harmony’ and ‘symphony’. He did this to draw attention to the carefully balanced colour combinations he had used in the paintings instead of their subject matter. When Nocturne: Grey and Gold Westminster Bridge was exhibited in 1875, some reviewers remarked that the work was glazed like a watercolour. This technique of thinning oil paint to a runny consistency and applying it to the canvas in many thin layers was Whistler’s own invention.