Whistler: A Biography

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Da Capo Press, 2001 - Art - 498 pages
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He was the most notorious and misunderstood American artist of his time, and also the most influential. To this day James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) is one of the most recognized names in painting because of his celebrated (and endlessly satirized) Whistler's Mother, one of the treasures of the Louvre. He was, to say the least, a character. Born in Massachusetts, he claimed to be a Southerner and wound up living most of his life abroad—in Russia, France, and England (though he could not tolerate more than brief periods in France and thoroughly disliked the English). Whistler's sense of belligerent alienation erupted in ways that were endlessly fascinating to both Europeans and Americans: his insatiable urge to take his grievances to court (including literary and artistic grievances); his feuds and vendettas with such worthies as Ruskin, Wilde, and Beardsley; his acid wit and libelous invective; his ability to set fashions in art, dress, even lifestyle; his love affairs and relentless social climbing—his was a flamboyant life, told here "with clarity, judgment, and liveliness" (Leon Edel).
  

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Contents

Prologue
1
Born in Exile
3
West Point
14
Washington
26
To Paris
32
Bohemian in Paris
37
The French Set
48
La Tamise
59
Uncertainty
123
Nocturnes
135
Patrons and Portraits
146
Portraits and NonPortraits
161
Patrons and Peacocks
169
From Leyland to Ruskin
182
Whistler v Ruskin
194
Aftermath
217

Jo
71
Salon des Refuses
82
Tudor House
92
A Portuguese Person Named Howell
104
London to Valparaiso
112
Bankruptcy
230
Venice
241
Lyme Regis and London
395
Eden v Whisder
406
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Stanley Weintraub is the author of many books, including Victoria: An Intimate Biographyand The London Yankees. He is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University.

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