Nail Art History 101: Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold with Colors by Llarowe

We’re winging forward in time for the second installment in Nail Art History 101, all the way to the 19th century. Today I’ve got a mash-up of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket) and Colors by Llarowe “All Bidness”.

NailArtHistory101 Whistler and CbL“All Bidness” is a snazzy combo of black holographic (with a nice blue-tinted rainbow that gives it just the right palette to pair up with Nocturne in Black and Gold) packed with small gold flakes. Thanks to this combination, in the light you see the holo and in the shade you see luscious flakes. Here are some bottle shots to give you a sense of the color/effect:

CbL All Bidness bottle shotCbL All Bidness bottle shotAs for the painting, it is a 1875 work by a fairly famous American expatriate artist* (contested- he was born in Massachusetts but spent most of his life in Europe and constantly told people he was born in Russia). You probably know him from his incredibly famous Arrangement in Black and Gray No.1 (or Whistler’s Mother). Whistler went through a period where he felt that there was a strong connection between art/music/life, so a lot of his paintings from that time are Nocturnes, Harmonies, Symphonies, or Arrangements.

Whistler-Nocturne_in_black_and_goldReactions to the painting were fairly mixed: some people were all about the dark and moody (dare I say Tonalist?) thing, while some wondered what Whistler thought he was up to. Fun fact: after this painting was completed, the big wig art critic John Ruskin published an extremely negative review of the work (and threw some jabs at Whistler for fun). Whistler didn’t take insults from anyone, so he sued Ruskin for libel. The trial was a bit a circus, wherein the lawyer for Ruskin asks Whistler how long it took him to “knock it off” and insinuated that his work wasn’t work the price he asked for it. Whistler took the opportunity to talk about his theory of art (“art for art’s sake” is one of the big ideas that comes out of this) and to generate a media storm. In the end, he won the case, but the court only granted him a farthing (a quarter of a penny) in damages, which didn’t even begin to cover his court costs.


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