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The Artist in His Studio

A work made of oil on board mounted on wood panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on board mounted on wood panel.


1865–66 and 1895


James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)

About this artwork

By the mid-1860s, the London-based, American artist James McNeill Whistler was increasingly fascinated with the aesthetics of Asian art. In The Artist in His Studio, Whistler stares out at the viewer with palette and paintbrush in hand, surrounded by works from his collection: three Japanese scrolls hang on the wall and Chinese porcelain adorns shelves on the left. He applied thin layers of paint in muted tones to evoke the flattened appearance of Japanese woodblock prints. The composition also recalls the work of the Spanish Baroque master, Diego Velázquez. Whistler harmonized Western and Eastern artistic elements, placing himself at the center of such an enterprise.


On View, Gallery 273


Arts of the Americas


James McNeill Whistler


The Artist in His Studio


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1865–1866


Oil on board mounted on wood panel


Signed: Butterfly in cartouche, middle right


Board: 62 × 46.5 cm (24 7/16 × 18 5/16 in.); Overall: 63 × 47.3 cm (24 13/16 × 18 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Friends of American Art Collection

Reference Number


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