Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Nocturne in Blue and Gold


An art critic commented on the technique and visual effect achieved: 'by close inspection they appear like very bad attempts at scene painting; heavy leads of colour dashed with a few intermediate forms', but from a distance, 'the significance of every stroke tells; there is nothing superfluous ... there is nature itself painted in so few strokes that they can almost be counted, and truthful work, though but a single colour has been used in different tones.' 1

The Brighton Herald , on 11 September 1875, added, 'Mr. Whistler uses nothing but blue – light blue and dark blue, with drops of silver and gold for fire.'

Conservation History





1: Brighton Gazette, Brighton, 9 September 1875.

Last updated: 23rd November 2020 by Margaret