James McNeill Whistler (July 11, 1834-July 17, 1903) is at once a symbol of nineteenth-century painting as well as a singular artist possessed of his own, signature style. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Whistler spent much of his childhood in Europe, and eventually moved to Paris as a young man to pursue an artistic education. Arriving at his own version of Post-Impression while many of those around him were still fixated on the birth of Impressionism and Realism, Whistler is credited with pioneering tonalism, a style of landscape painting influenced by the French Barbizon school that is often overlooked in the shadow in Impressionism. Whistler’s dedication to harmonious compositions expressed itself in his use of neutral tones to create soft atmospheres, incorporating bold silhouettes and shadows and delicate detailing to create what he perceived as a sort of visual balance. His attention to formal qualities make for a unique aesthetic experience in when encountering his work, thus fascinating scholars and art-lovers alike for years.
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