James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was one of the most original artists of the late nineteenth century. Flamboyant dandy and ebullient publicist, friend of Oscar Wilde, Whistler was also a meticulous craftsman dedicated to the perfection of his art. Whistler was born in America but trained in Paris. He began as a realist painter but gradually developed a startlingly original method of composition, refining his technique to the barest essentials. He was one of the first to argue that the abstract ingredients of a painting—the lines, shapes, colors, and tones—could in themselves be the subject; he entitled the portrait of his mother Arrangement in Grey and Black.
This book provides a wide survey of carefully selected works, illustrated with 48 full-page color plates and accompanying notes, making it an ideal introduction to Whistler's art.