When I stumbled upon this painting – Whistler’s “Nocturne, Blue and Silver: Battersea Reach” – I was speechless because of the starkness. When you stare at it, it sucks you in…and after a while and you can imagine yourself inside the mist of the painting, grasping to get closer to these specks of light represented by tiny globs of orange paint.
After the death of her only child, Ms. Gardner fell into a debilitating depression, for which her doctor eventually prescribed travel and new experiences. It was her emergence from this tragic experience and her subsequent travels around the world that rekindled her passion for art and kickstarted her mission for collecting it.
I was definitely thrown into a similar state after my father passed earlier this year, and certainly, have experienced the debilitating effects of depression from time to time. This piece serves as a metaphor for how Isabella was able to move through the stagnant mist of her mental state towards the light of who she was supposed to be.