Friday, 23 September 2011
James McNeill Whistler: Playing with Fire
As mentioned in an earlier post, Whistler came to Lyme Regis in 1895 at the age of 61, by which time he was one of the country's best known artists. His arrival in Lyme caused quite a stir — partly due to his flamboyant appearance and larger than-life personality, and partly because of his by-then notorious reputation. He had been involved in a number of high-profile libel cases and as a result had lost most of his money!
The reason for Whistler's visit was rather sad — his young wife had a serious illness and it was believed the sea air would aid her recovery. Unfortunately this was not the case, and she died soon after. One thing that did recover, however, was Whistler's artistic reputation. While in Lyme he painted a couple of late masterpieces, including "Little Rose" (below left) as well as producing a number of engravings of the town (below right).
For further information on Lyme's artistic heritage, see the Writers and Artists page of the main website. If you're interested in attending one of the many excellent talks held at the Museum, see the Events page.