The New Student's Reference Work/Whistler, James Abbott McNeill
Whistler (hwĭs′lẽr), James Abbott McNeill, a brilliant Anglo-American painter, etcher and author, was born at Lowell, Mass., on July 10, 1834, and educated at West Point Military Academy. He studied art at Paris and settled at London, England, where he became president of the British Society of Artists and held exhibitions of his pictures. There was a strain of the erratic in his mental composition, which more than once brought him into antagonism with critics of art — notably with Ruskin; but he had genius and gifts of a high order in the impressionist school and attained eminence as an etcher and colorist. Some of his more important paintings include what he termed A Nocturne in Blue and Gold, arrangements in black, gray and green; his Portrait of My Mother is excellent, as are The White Girl and The Last of Old Westminster. He also did good work in painting portraits of celebrities, and wrote The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. His other published works include Ten O'Clock, Four Masters of Etching and The Baronet and the Butterfly. He died on July 17, 1903.