Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Nature contains the elements, in color and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick, and choose, and group with science, these elements, that the result may be beautiful--as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he brings forth from chaos glorious harmony.

--James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Whistler defended this painting, his "Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), in court when he sued art critic John Ruskin, who accused Whistler of "flinging a pot of paint in the public's face" for libel. He won the case, but received only a farthing in damages and got stuck with the court costs, which ended up ruining him financially.

Now, doesn't that just make you want to go and scandalize someone with your sensualist ways? Maybe I shouldn't implicate you, but I bet I'm at least partly right. Maybe don't take your hater to court, maybe that's part of the lesson.


Nada Gordon: 2 ludic 4 U said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

Ridiculous Human Things said...

Ha! Glad to hear it, Nada. Sensualist pride.

Stan Apps said...

That's called suing for nominal damages, where the point is just to have the judge say you're right. It was very popular back when courts were cheaper.

I like Ruskin but he got very mean in his old age. He was going to get married to this very young girl, and then he did marry her, and then (they say) he was scandalized to learn about the existence of pubic hair (of which he had been blissfully unaware for 50+ years) which spoiled the line that he so treasured in his contemplation of Greek statues. After that, he descended inevitably into madness.

This is probably just a vicious smear from his art-world enemies, but some smears are too good not to repeat, right?

I think you should go to my blog and do the PICK YOUR CORPORATE MASTER QUIZ.

Ridiculous Human Things said...

Alright, Stan! Delightful. One moment, while I take your quiz...