About the Artist
James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was inspired by many sources, including the avant garde, realism, the 17th-century Dutch and Spanish schools, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Orientalism. Participating in the artistic ferment of Paris and London in the late 19th century, he developed his own distinctive and highly influential style, arriving at a version of post-impressionism in the mid-1860s, a time when most of his contemporaries in the avant-garde were still exploring realism and impressionism. Whistler achieved international notoriety when Symphony No. 1, The White Girl was rejected at both the Royal Academy and the Salon, but was a major attraction at the famous Salon des Refusés in 1863.
This print of James McNeill Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (1862) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
Whistler used variations of white pigment to create interesting spatial and formal relationships. By limiting his palette, minimizing tonal contrast, and sharply skewing the perspective, he flattened forms and emphasized their abstract patterns. This dramatic compositional approach reflects the influence of Japanese prints, which were becoming well known in Paris as international trade increased. Clearly Whistler was more interested in creating an abstract design than in capturing an exact likeness of the model, his mistress Joanna Hiffernan. His radical espousal of a purely aesthetic orientation and the creation of "art for art's sake" became a virtual rallying cry of modernism.
- 10.25 x 5.94 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks