Whistler’s Mother in NGV “惠斯勒的母亲”

Some may have only seen the Whistler’s Mother before in the movie Bean (1997) when Mr. Bean accidentally sneezed on it and eventually destroyed it. Thankfully it was just a fiction and Australians still have the opportunity to be up close and personal with the genuine painting in National Gallery Victoria (NGV) for three months, starting from 26th March. The Whistler’s Mother is one of the most important paintings in the world that made its debut down on loan form the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in exchange to lending NGV’s Pierre Bonnard’s Siesta (La Siesta) from 1900 as part of a cultural exchange program.

web4.jpgThe artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler was born in Massachusetts in 1834 and moved with his family to Russia when he was 10 years old. He was trained as a painter since 1855 and ‘Portrait of the artist’s mother’ was painted in 1871. It was a controversial painting then and only became popular in 1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt devised a modified design of the work for a Mother’s Day stamp. Today it is an iconic painting, recognised alongside Mona Lisa and The Scream.

The purpose of NGV having this exhibition was to encourage viewers to see Whistler’s work afresh, highlighting what is so intriguing and mysterious about this magnificent work. It was undoubtedly a golden opportunity for those who love art and appreciate culture.

web2web3web5.jpg看过1997年电影“憨豆大灾难”的观众可能会记忆犹新,憨豆先生不小心打了个喷嚏就将名画“惠斯勒的母亲-Whistler’s Mother”摧毁了。值得庆幸的是这仅是一个虚构的剧情,澳大利亚人仍然有机会自3月26日开始,3个月内在维多利亚国家美术馆(NGV)与这幅名画亲密接触。

“惠斯勒的母亲”是世界上最重要的画作之一,而这幅画作首次亮相展出是以交流形式从巴黎奥赛博物馆借出,NGV以提供另外一幅法国画家Pierre Bonnard’s在1900年的名画 “La Siesta”作为文化交流项目的部分。

艺术画家詹姆斯惠斯勒出生于美国马萨诸塞州。在1834年,10岁的他与家人搬到俄罗斯,在1855年他受训启发后成为一名画家,并在1871年完成”画家母亲的肖像”这个杰作。而这幅极具争议的画作会广大流传是在1934年,美国总统Franklin Roosevelt将画作设制为 母亲节邮票印章。今天,它成为名画之一,与“蒙娜丽莎”和“呐喊”并肩齐驱。


Image(s) courtesy of NGV

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