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James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Nocturne: The River at Battersea’, 1878, Blanton Museum of Art
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Nocturne: The River at Battersea’, 1878, Blanton Museum of Art
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Nocturne: The River at Battersea, 1878

Lithotint with scraping, printed in grayish-black ink on grayish-blue laid paper, mounted on wove paper
11 1/10 × 14 3/5 in
28.2 × 37 cm
Location
Austin
About the work
Provenance
Medium
Print
Image rights
Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
American, 1834–1903
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James Abbott McNeill Whistler changed the course of art history with his radical techniques and adoption of Asian design principles, which emphasized a two-dimensional flattening of painted forms and their arrangement into abstract patterns. A London-based expatriate, Whistler embraced and promoted the doctrine that art should not serve narrative, but rather project the artist’s subjective feelings through the handling of the medium. His revolutionary methods changed existing approaches to oil paint, pastel, watercolor, etching—even interior design and the decorative arts. The flat, expressive, and radically simplified forms in his Venice pastels, and his use of fluid blue and gray pigments in his abstract nocturnes, altered how his contemporaries like Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas saw and understood art. He scandalously named one of his most famous paintings Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 (1871), suggesting the reduction of a portrait of his mother to an arrangement of formal elements.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Nocturne: The River at Battersea’, 1878, Blanton Museum of Art
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Nocturne: The River at Battersea’, 1878, Blanton Museum of Art
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
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Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share
About the work
Provenance
Medium
Print
Image rights
Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
American, 1834–1903
Follow

James Abbott McNeill Whistler changed the course of art history with his radical techniques and adoption of Asian design principles, which emphasized a two-dimensional flattening of painted forms and their arrangement into abstract patterns. A London-based expatriate, Whistler embraced and promoted the doctrine that art should not serve narrative, but rather project the artist’s subjective feelings through the handling of the medium. His revolutionary methods changed existing approaches to oil paint, pastel, watercolor, etching—even interior design and the decorative arts. The flat, expressive, and radically simplified forms in his Venice pastels, and his use of fluid blue and gray pigments in his abstract nocturnes, altered how his contemporaries like Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas saw and understood art. He scandalously named one of his most famous paintings Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 (1871), suggesting the reduction of a portrait of his mother to an arrangement of formal elements.

Nocturne: The River at Battersea, 1878

Lithotint with scraping, printed in grayish-black ink on grayish-blue laid paper, mounted on wove paper
11 1/10 × 14 3/5 in
28.2 × 37 cm
Location
Austin
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