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James Abbott McNeill Whistler

13 of 14 portraits of James Abbott McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, published by William Heinemann, after  Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson, published 1899 (1897) - NPG D32970 - © Desmond Banks

© Desmond Banks

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

published by William Heinemann, after Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson
lithographic reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut, published 1899 (1897)
10 5/8 in. x 9 3/4 in. (270 mm x 248 mm) paper size
acquired Unknown source, 1980
Reference Collection
NPG D32970


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This woodcut pays homage to Whistler's full-length male portraiture by means of the sitter's pose, his emergence from a dark flat background, and the sharp contrast between black evening dress and the white accents of shirt front and cuff (as can be seen in the example shown left). It was first published in the New Review in September 1897, at which time Whistler's reputation was at its height. When sitting for the portrait at his Fitzroy Street studio, the artist proudly wore his Légion d'Honneur, reflected here in the tiny crimson dash at his lapel.