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James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

Aliases: James A M Whistler; James A. M. Whistler; James Abbot McNeill Whistler; James McNeill Whistler

Professions: Figure painter; Painter; Etcher; Lithographer; Caricaturist

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  • James A. McNeill Whistler

  • James McNeill Whistler 1834-1903 , Study for The Tall Bridge charcoal and chalk on brown paper

  • JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER

  • James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

James Abbott McNeill Whistler Biography

(b. Lowell, Massachusetts July 14,1843; d. London, England July 17, 1903). American Painter. Whistler is considered one of the most important artists of the 19th Century. He is connected with a number artistic movements including the Tonalist Movement, a trend that is recognized for its use of soft lights, muted tones and hazy outlines and the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized the idea of “art for art’s sake.”* Whistler’s family moved to Russia when he was nine and he began his study of art there. He moved back to the States and studied at West Point Military Academy for a brief period only to leave the country again in 1855, this time for France. In France, Whistler studied traditional art methods from the Ecole Impériale, but he preferred self-study at the Louvre. Whistler gained popularity in 1863 with his exhibition of “Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl” at the Salon des Refusés. Whistler first moved to London in 1859 and settled there in 1863. He traveled to Holland a number of times where he refined his watercolor technique. Whistler had a highly modern approach to painting. He was an artist who found that the harmony of subtle colors in a refined tonalist palette were paramount to subject matter and composition. Whistler's landscapes are often two-dimensional with their foregrounds blending seamlessly with their backgrounds. This composition technique paired with his calligraphic treatment of figures demonstrates his interest in Japanese prints. His way of flattening the picture plane was vilified by critics early on; but by the 1880’s Whistler had achieved critical success, having exhibited major paintings at the Royal Academy. When Whistler declared bankruptcy in 1879 he was informed that any of his artwork that was scratched would not need to be relinquished to creditors. Whistler is said to have marred many of his works so that they would remain in the possessions of friends or relatives.** He traveled to Venice in 1879 and it was there that Whistler began to simplify and abstract his works, using the minimal amount of color and line. He produced some fifty etchings, seven or eight paintings and nearly a hundred pastels during his sojourn in Italy. Whistler’s artwork, produced in Venice, was received very well and he was able to restore some of his fortune. Whistler enjoyed success as an internationally renowned artist until his death in London on July 17, 1903. (Credit: *Christie’s, New York, Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, May 19, 2005, Lot 62; **Sotheby’s, New York, Prints, October 30, 2008, Lot 52)

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James Abbott McNeill Whistler at Auction Now

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  • JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER (ENGLISH, 1834-1903) THE STUDIO 'WHISTLER' PORTFOLIO., James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $50 Register to bid
  • James Abbott McNeill Whistler NOCTURNE (KENNEDY 184) Etching and drypoint printed in dark brown, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $7,500 Register to bid
  • * James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (American, 1834-1903), Lagoon Noon, 1879-80, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $0 View Details
  • * James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (American, 1834-1903), Old Westminster Bridge, 1859, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $0 View Details
  • * James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (American, 1834-1903), Rotherhithe, 1860, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $0 View Details
  • James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (American, 1834-1903), Drouet Sculpteur, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, $0 View Details

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James Abbott McNeill Whistler Sold at AuctionView all James Abbott McNeill Whistler Sold at Auction

  • James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details
  • Figures in a Doorway , James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details
  • JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER 1834-1903, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details
  • James McNeill Whistler 1834-1903 , Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet oil on panel, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details
  • James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details
  • Square House, Amsterdam (K. 404), James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Click for value View Details

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