Art Appreciation

March 2012

Parquesol Restaurant El Morche

Whistler’s Mother

Is this painting icon of American culture?  I had never thought about it.  I considered the replicas trite and definitely kitch.  However, after this video I do look at it differently.

We are watching Private Life of a Masterpiece Series from the BBC, a delight to watch.  The whole episode gave us an overview of Whistler the man, the son and the painter.  We decided he was divided in his life and his painting, maybe a bit schizophrenic.

As a young man, his mother tried to get him to fit into the perfect son mould.  He just did not fit so he left the USA and travelled to Paris and became an artist.  Then, he went to London to further his career by studying with Rafael and others.  He developed his own style which of course was different from the norm.  In London, he lived a life of debauchery until his mother arrived.  Then, he lived the life of a god fearing well behaved son at home and another life entirely at his studio.  What a life!!

We all agreed that the painting was a masterpiece, perfectly constructed, beautifully painted and an inspiration to us all.  We all loved the style and felt that his painting reflected his lifestyle, very different from the expected norm.

As usual there was lots of discussion, time for coffee and chat.  Our next meeting is 24 April, Parquesol at 11 am.  It will be great to see you all there.  We are watching and discussing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers from the Private Life of a Masterpiece series.
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