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BBC Fine Art Collection 5 of 7 – The Gentle Art of Making Enemies: Whistler

English: "Arrangement in Pink, Red and Pu...

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies : Whistler

James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) Perhaps one of the most misunderstood artists of the nineteenth century, James MacNeill Whistler was known as a dandy, an eccentric and a wit. He was far less celebrated for the value of this work, and, while his Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother (1871) is now renowned, in his lifetime it remained unsold for nineteen years after it was painted. During his life, he was largely dismissed for his interest in “art for art’s sake” but this helped prepare the ground for modern art.

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