James McNeill Whistler

1834-1903 America/England-Impressionism

 

Brief Biography-James Abbot McNeill Whistler was born in Massachusetts. The family lived in St. Petersburg, Russia while his father worked as an engineer on the railways for five years until they returned to America in 1848. After a failed spell in West Point, Whistler entered the Navy and picked up etching when doing cartography. This profession bored him, and he eventually set out for Paris in 1855.
Charles Gleyre admitted him to his studio. Whistler was not too interested in academicism but more influenced by Degas and Courbet. He also learned from Fantin-Latour. The salon refused two of his paintings, and after four years he moved to Chelsea London. There he undertook his Thames etchings. Through his collection of Oriental china, Japanese art influenced him after 1864. In London, he eventually became a success, and he associated with many leading artists, including Rossetti.
In 1878, he sued the art critic John Ruskin for an attack on his 'Nocturne in Black and Gold' painting. Whistler won the case but only received one farthing damages. The case gained him notoriety in London, and he published a pamphlet condemning critics before leaving for Venice. He returned to London in 1880 with an extensive series of etchings, all of which were published. Messer’s Dowdeswell's Gallery exhibited many of his works from 1884 to 1886. He was named president of the Royal Society of British Artists until 1888 when the elders pushed him to resign.
In Paris, The Luxembourg Palace purchased his 'Mother's Portrait', and he received the Légion d'Honneur in 1891. He spent several years in Paris before returning to London for his last years in Chelsea. His paintings had not only sold well in England, but many made their way over to America where his rising reputation had reached.

 

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Artist's Studio

The Artist's Studio

Theodore Duret

Arrangement in Flesh Colour

Arrangement

Arrangement in Pink Red and Purple

Lady Meux

Harmony in Pink and Gray Portrait of Lady Meux

La Princesse

La Princesse du Pays de la Porcelaine

Self-portrait

Self-portrait

Whistler's Mother

Whistler's Mother

Whistler with Hat

Whistler with Hat

White Girl

White Girl

Chelsea Snow

Chelsea Snow

The Lange Leizen

The Lange Leizen

The Bathing Posts

The Bathing Posts

Falling Rocket

Falling Rocket

Battersea Bridge

Old Bazttersea Bridge

Little Juniper Bud

Little Juniper Bud

The Balcony

Variations in Flesh Colour and Green The Balcony

The Lagoon

The Lagoon

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

The Piano

The Piano

The Andalusian

Mother of Pearl and Silver The Andalusian

Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge

Wapping

Wapping