Storm by Sunset – James Whistler

Storm by Sunset   James Whistler

Whistler worked in a variety of techniques. In addition to oil paintings and engravings, he created a large number of lithographs, watercolors and pastels. It was the pastel that proved to be the technique in which the artist was most fully able to express his understanding of color. Plots of Whistler pastels are diverse. One of his best pastels is “Storm – Sunset,” 1880, created during the artist’s stay in Venice. On grainy brown paper he threw out the outline of the future picture with black chalk, after which he switched to colored pastels. The impressionistic landscape of “Figures on the Gulf Coast” is written literally with a few strokes of a pastel pencil, while the figurative sketch “The Violet Note”, 1885-86 is distinguished by scrupulous detailing. In 1881 Whistler showed his Venetian pastels at the exhibition of the Society of Fine Arts. This exhibition was accompanied by such a deafening success that the following year the Society of American Pastelist Artists was founded.

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