James Abbott McNeill Whistler(1834-1903), Painter and etcher
Sitter in 15 portraits
Artist associated with 4 portraits
Born in America, Whistler originally trained to be a soldier at West Point, before studying painting in Paris and moving to London c.1860, where he remained. An advocate of the aesthetic ideal of 'Art for Art's Sake', and all-round provocative figure of the London art world, his nocturnes (which were famously criticised by John Ruskin for representing the equivalent of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face') and decorative subjects made him a progressive and controversial figure.
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Sir Leslie Ward
chromolithograph, published in Vanity Fair 12 January 1878