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Whistler, James McNeill
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Birth Place Lowell, Massachusetts
Death Place London, England
Born July 10, 1834
Died July 17, 1903
General Notes James McNeill Whistler was born to wealth in Lowell, Massachusetts, and was educated at West Point. In 1855 he went to Paris to study art and never returned to the United States. London became his permanent home after 1859. Portraiture dominated Whistler's early work and reflected his association with London society. Despite his success and connections, he left England for a time in 1879, when disputes with the critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) and his former friend and patron Frederick R. Leyland bankrupted him. He went to Venice and there redirected his art, exploring the light and atmosphere of the city in delicate pastels, watercolors, and etchings. Whistler returned to London in 1881 and lived there until the end of his life, but he never again looked upon his adopted city with the same affection. In 1890 this famously irascible artist published a memoir, a collection of letters that he called The Gentle Art of Making Enemies.
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