Feb 9, 2010

A Symphony in Color

The first time I saw a painting by Whistler, I was quite amazed.

There's something about his paintings that grows on you. At first glance, they're just a wash of color. Only at further contemplation, do the details come out. The bodies are strangely long. Most of the painting taken up by the clothing, the length of the dresses, or the cape. But the details... Just wow. The folds of the material, the draping of the cloth, the walls behind the model.

And the strange names. "Arrangement in Black", "Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink", "Rose et or: La Tulipe" ("Pink and Gold: The Tulip"), "Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket", "Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket", "Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother". I couldn't understand why the color was the most important part of the name, or the music reference. It made me stop and reconsider how to view the painting. The color became the main emphasis. And from the color, a deeper understanding of the feeling of the paintings, of the music that they play. The portraits grew alive. I could almost see real live people standing in front of me.

What Genius!