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Trouville (Grey and Green, the Silver Sea)

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)

About this artwork

In the early 1860s, James McNeill Whistler began to develop an art-for-art’s-sake aesthetic, eschewing narrative or naturalistic details to focus more intently on formal concerns. In 1865 the artist traveled to Trouville, a French resort town, where he painted with Gustave Courbet and experimented with a series of increasingly simplified seascapes. The high horizon line and broad expanses of muted color in this spare composition reveal Whistler’s interest in Japanese woodblock prints. The sweeping, horizontal brushstrokes and restrained palette, limited to pale greens and soft grays, reinforce the painting’s innovative, flattened perspective.


On View, Gallery 246


Arts of the Americas


James McNeill Whistler


Trouville (Grey and Green, the Silver Sea)


Trouville (Place depicted)

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.



Oil on canvas


Signed, lower right: "Whistler"


51.5 × 77.2 cm (20 1/4 × 30 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Honoré and Potter Palmer

Reference Number


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