About this artwork
Born in Massachusetts, James McNeill Whistler lived all of his adult life in Europe, working in artistic centers such as Paris, London, and Venice. Whistler painted this portrait of his brother William in London, where both of them then lived; the artist had established a studio there in 1859. Having served as a medical officer for the Confederate Army, Dr. William McNeill Whistler moved to the city after the Civil War and was a respected physician. Whistler modeled his brother’s face with some degree of detail, yet also employed broad brushstrokes of thinly applied paint to merely suggest the sitter’s dress, which blends into a background of flat color.
- James McNeill Whistler
- Portrait of Dr. William McNeill Whistler
- c. 1871–1873
- Oil on panel
- 43.7 × 34.8 cm (17 3/16 × 13 11/16 in.)
- Gift of Mary T. Wentworth in memory of her husband, John