BC. Laurence Binyon

5. ‘Whistler’. Saturday Review (London) 106 (November 1908): 571-73.

Binyon argues here that a contemporary ‘prejudice’ against ‘literary’ painting derives from Whistler’s (Ap) misunderstanding of Japanese art. ‘Whistler imagined that the art of Japan was an abstract art’, Binyon writes, but ‘as a matter of fact it is more saturated with literary allusion and deals more in moral ideas than our own’. Japanese artists ‘had none of Whistler’s prejudices; art was a part of life to them, not something detached and unrelated.’ This is an understanding of Whistler’s relation with Japanese art echoed by Yeats, who would have drawn his understanding of the subject at least in part from Binyon (see BL10 and 25). See also 10.






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