James Whistler (1834-1903) can hardly be called a true American. Growing up, he moved to Europe. And his childhood he spent … in Russia. His father built a railway in Saint Petersburg.
It was there that young James fell in love with art, when visiting the Hermitage and Peterhof thanks to his father’s connections (at that time, these palaces were still closed to the public).
What is Whistler famous for? Whatever style he applied in his paintings, from realism to tonalism*, you can almost immediately recognize him by two signs. Unusual colours and musical titles. A part of his portraits imitates the old masters. For example, his famous portrait of “The Artist’s Mother”.
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