Whistler, James Abbott McNeill

Description: James Abbott McNeill Whistler (AMERICAN, 1834-1903) LITHOGRAPH, C. 1890, H 9.75″, W 6″, “GANTS DE SUEDE” Depicting a woman in late nineteenth century dress and a hat. Having an impressed chop mark. Butterfly mark in the stone. Matted.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 11, 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 a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His signature for his paintings took the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol combined both aspects of his personality: his art is marked by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative. He found a parallel between painting and music and entitled many of his paintings “arrangements”, “harmonies”, and “nocturnes”, emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. His most famous painting Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), commonly known as Whistler’s Mother, is a revered and often parodied portrait of motherhood. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers.

Honors, Whistler achieved worldwide recognition during his lifetime:

1884, elected an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
1892, made an officer of the Légion d’honneur in France.
1898, became a charter member and first president, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.
A statue of James McNeill Whistler by Nicholas Dimbleby was erected in 2005 at the north end of Battersea Bridge on the River Thames in the United Kingdom.