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Home | Articles | Small Masterpieces: Whistler Paintings from the 1880s

James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903), Grey and Silver: Mist—Lifeboat, December 1883 or January 1884. Oil on wood panel, 4 13/16 x 8 1/2 inches. Gift of Charles Lang Freer. F1914.1.
Small Masterpieces:
Whistler Paintings from the 1880s
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
April 2, 2005 – continues indefinitely
For information call 202.633.1000

The work of James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) changed dramatically in the 1880s when he stopped painting large landscapes and focused on smaller works in a wide variety of media, including oils, watercolors, pastels, etchings, and lithographs. Among the most beautiful are the oil paintings influenced by Japanese prints and progressive French art, many of which are strikingly sketchy and abstract. Although not well known today, Whistler’s small oils were widely exhibited during his lifetime.

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