James Abbott McNeill Whistler

1834 Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of a railway engineer.

1843 His family moves to St Petersburg.

1848 Lives with his step-sister in England. Attends lectures at the Royal Academy.

1849 Returns to the USA after his father’s death.

1851 Enters West Point Military Academy.

1854 Dismissed from West Point after failing his chemistry examination.

1855 Determined to become an artist he leaves America for France.

1856 Attends Charles Gleyre’s studio in Paris.

1859 The Salon rejects At the Piano. Moves to London taking rooms at Wapping.

1861 Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl is rejected by the Royal Academy and by the Salon.

1863 The White Girl  hangs with Déjeuner sur l’herbe at the Salon des Refusés. Moves from Wapping to Chelsea, near Rossetti. His mother moves to live with him.

1865 Paints at Trouville with Courbet and Monet.

1866 Travels to Chile.

1872 Arrangement in Grey and Black; Portrait of the Artist’s Mother is exhibited at the   Royal Academy.

1877 Nocturne in Black and Gold: the Falling Rocket is exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery. Ruskin writes to The Times. Whistler sues for libel.

1878 Whistler wins his libel case against Ruskin but is awarded a farthing in damages.

1879 Facing huge legal costs, Whistler is declared bankrupt losing his newly constructed house. He destroys work rather than see it go to creditors.

1880 Leaves for Venice to undertake a commission for etchings.

1885 Delivers his Ten o’clock Lecture advocating his aesthetic ideas.

1888 Marries Beatrice Godwin.

1894 Beatrice becomes ill with cancer.

1896 Beatrice dies.

1903 Whistler dies in London.


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James Abbott McNeill Whistler - Selected Works

1859 At the Piano, Cincinnati, Taft Museum of Art

1862 Symphony in White: No 1 The White Girl, Washington DC, National Gallery of Art

1862 The Last of Old Westminster, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

1864 Symphony in White No. II: The Little White Girl, London, Tate

1864 Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, Philadelphia Museum of Art

1860-64 Wapping, Washington DC , National Gallery of Art

1864 Caprice in Purple and Gold: The Golden Screen, Washington DC , Freer Gallery of Art

1865 Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville, Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

1865 Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony, Washington DC , Freer Gallery of Art

1867 Symphony in White No. III, Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts

1871 Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: the Artist's Mother, Paris, Musée d'Orsay

1872 Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter, Detroit, Institute of Arts

1872 Nocturne in Blue and Silver: Cremorne Lights, London, Tate

1872-3 Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Portrait of Mrs Frances Leyland, New York, Frick Collection

1872-3 Arrangement in Grey and Black No 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle, Glasgow, Art Gallery and Museum

1872-4 Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander, London, Tate

1875 Nocturne in Black and Gold: the Falling Rocket, Detroit, Institute of Arts

1875 Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge, London, Tate

1881 Harmony in Pink and Grey: Valerie, Lady Meux, New York, Frick Collection

1883-4 Milly Finch, Washington DC , Freer Gallery of Art

1884 Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Black: Portrait of Theodore Duret, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1886 Harmony in Red: Lamplight, Glasgow, Hunterian Museum

1892 Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac, New York, Frick Collection

1895-1900 Brown and Gold: Self Portrait, Glasgow, Hunterian Museum

James Abbott McNeill Whistler - Featured Paintings

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