In its present form Nocturne: Blue and Silver – Cremorne Lights dates from 1872. 1 It is signed and dated '72'.
It was, however, painted over a figure subject related to the so-called 'Six Projects' (such as Symphony in Blue and Pink [YMSM 086]), which were painted between 1868 and 1870.
The destruction of the original painting may have been caused by Whistler's concern over similarities between his work and that of Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), which came to a head in the autumn of 1870. Although Whistler was reassured by William Eden Nesfield (1835-1888) that the similarities were superficial, this may have been the defining moment, when Whistler abandoned the 'Projects' and turned to night, mist and water for inspiration. 2
Last updated: 22nd November 2020 by Margaret