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James McNeill Whistler
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Artist
    (July 14, 1834-July 17, 1903)
    Resided in London and Paris
    Best known for his painting 'Arrangement in Grey and Black' ('Whistler's Mother')
    Paintings include 'At the Piano,' 'Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl,' 'Nocturnes' and 'Peacock Room'
    He was arrogant, pretentious and pushy.
    He called his paintings 'symphonies' and 'harmonies.'
    He wore outlandish clothes and a monocle.
    When the art critic John Ruskin wrote a bad review of his painting, Whistler sued him.
    He was terrible with money.
    He built a lavish house for himself, even though he couldn't afford it.
    When his dog got sick, he took it to a human doctor, not a vet.
    As a student at West Point he was required by engineering class to draw a bridge. He drew it with three boys relaxing on it. Ordered again to redraw a bridge he did so with the boys relaxing on the grass next to the bridge. He was given a third opportunity and this time drew the bridge with three tombstones next to it. He was then expelled.
    'Whistler's Mother' is one of the most famous paintings in history.
    His father died of cholera.
    His beloved wife died of cancer eight years into their marriage.
    He won the legal case against Ruskin, but went broke paying the fees.
    He had a sharp wit.
    When a bill collector caught him drinking champagne at home, he said: 'I assure you I haven't paid for the champagne either.'

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro


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