Artist Gallery | James Abbott McNeill Whistler [1834-1903] American


James Abbott McNeill Whistler  (July 10, 1834– July 17, 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”.

His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

His most famous painting is Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), commonly known as Whistler’s Mother, the revered and oft-parodied portrait of motherhood. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers.


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Arrangement in Gray: Portrait of the Painter (self portrait, c. 1872), Detroit Institute of Arts
Portrait of Whistler with Hat (1858), a self-portrait at the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (1862), The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge (1872), Tate Britain, London, England
Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (1871), popularly known as Whistler’s Mother, Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Whistler in his Studio 1865, self-portrait
The Princess from the Land of Porcelain, in situ in The Peacock Room, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1874), Detroit Institute of Arts
Symphony in White no 2 (The Little White Girl), full version
Zaandam, the Netherlands, c. 1889 – etching by James McNeill Whistler

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Artist Gallery | James Abbott McNeill Whistler [1834-1903] American

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