Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.


The Development of the Art Market in England:
Money as Muse, 1730–1900
Thomas M Bayer  and John R Page
Website Designer: Jessie Lingenfelter
Nocturne in Black and Blue: The Falling Rocket, 1874-77
Oil on Panel
23 ¾ x 18 2/3 in
Detroit Institute of Arts
James Abbott McNeill Whistler  PRBA   (1834-1903)
The Girlhood of Virgin Mary

“Painter, etcher and lithographer. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of an engineer. As a boy lived in both Russia and England. In 1851 entered West Point Military Academy. Left to work as a cartographer for the Navy, where he learnt the technique of etching. In 1855 went to Paris as a student. By 1858 he had completed his ‘French Set’ of etchings of Paris. Met Degas and Fantin-Latour; much influenced by Courbet. In 1859 moved to London and began on the first ‘Thames Set’. His paintings of this period still reflect the influence of Courbet and Manet. Moved in 1863 to 7 to Lindsay Row, Chelsea, where he met Harry and Walter Greaves, and also Rossetti. The influence of Japanese art became apparent in his pictures of the 1860s. In 1866 visited Valparaiso. In the 1970s he began to paint his Nocturnes, and also produced some of his finest portraits. In 1877 exhibited ‘Nocturne in Black and Gold- The Falling Rocket’ at the first exhibition of Grosvenor Gallery. The picture was attacked by Ruskin, who accused Whistler of “flinging a pot of paint into the public’s face”. Whistler retaliated by suing Ruskin for libel. The trial took place in 1878, and Whistler was awarded one farthing damages. The cost of the action led to bankruptcy in 1879, and the sale of the White House in Tite Street, built for him in 1877 by E.W. Godwin. 1879-80 visited Venice for the first time, where he produced some of his finest etchings and pastels. 1885 delivered his famous Ten o’clock Lectures. 1886-8 President of the RBA. 1888 married Beatrix Godwin. 1892 settled in Paris. 1897 President of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. 1898-1901 ran his own art school, the Académie Carmen, in Paris. Exhibited in the Royal Academy from 1859 to 1879, Society of British Artist, Suffolk Street, Grosvenor Gallery and elsewhere. As a painter Whistler was primarily interested in the exploration of tones and colour relationships, within a strict and formalized decorative pattern. In this he often shows an affinity with such academic English artists as Albert Joseph Moore. The titles of his pictures, Arrangements, Nocturnes, Symphonies, etc., reflect his conscious aestheticism and rejection of the Victorian idea of subject. He was also a watercolourist and a pastellist, but perhaps his greatest contribution to the nineteenth-century was his etching. With justification, he is now classed with Rembrandt and Goya as one of the greatest masters of etching. A wit and dandy, he was one of the most colourful personalities of the nineteenth-century, but his combative nature led his to many feuds and lawsuits.”


(Biographical source: Wood, Christopher. The Dictionary of Victorian Painters.)

*This is a work in progress; full citations are not available for some artworks. If you have information pertaining to any artwork please send us an email.