James McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist. Noted for his art prints of nocturnal London, for his striking and stylistically advanced full-length portraits, and for his brilliant etchings and lithographs, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake".

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This philosophy condenses the notion that art should be judged apart from any themes which it might touch on, such as morality, religion, history, or politics and teaches that judgments of aesthetic value should not be confused with those proper to other spheres of life.

Today, this sentence is still deployed, to defend the right of free expression, or to appeal for art to uphold tradition and avoid causing offence. Finding a parallel between painting and music, James McNeill Whistler’s art prints are usually subtle and sensitive, in contrast to his outspoken and progressive views on art.

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