惠斯勒（1834～1903）James Abbott McNeill Whistler，美国画家。1834年7月14日生于马萨诸塞州洛厄尔，1903年7月17日卒于英国伦敦。作品有铜版画《法国组画》、肖像画《母亲》及组画《泰晤士河》等。
惠斯勒3岁时，父亲退役，担任修筑西部铁路的筑路工程师，全家迁往康涅狄克州的斯托宁顿居住。1841年，应沙皇尼古拉一世之聘，他的父亲到俄国去为修建彼得堡至莫斯科的铁路工作，全家又搬到了彼得堡。1849年，惠斯勒的父亲在俄国病逝，母亲举家迁回美国的斯托宁顿。1851年，惠斯勒遵从母亲希望他继承父志的要求，考入美国著名的军事院校——西点军校。但由于纪律松懈，在3年级时被学校斥退。他曾经要求陆军部长杰弗逊·戴维斯帮助他复学，但戴维斯介绍他去地图处处长本海姆那里报到。这位上尉发现了他的绘画才能，在1854年雇用了他。可是，画地图和画画到底是两码事，本海姆很快发现了使他头痛的事情，几乎每一张经过惠斯勒之手的地图，在空隙里都画满了奇形怪状的人头和动物。他不得不将这位年轻人解雇。据说，惠斯勒在他的手下总共工作了12小时15分钟.1855年夏天， 惠斯勒终于得到了赴巴黎学习绘画的机会，他在格莱尔的画室中学习素描和油画， 并且到卢佛宫临摹古画。1858年夏季，他环游法国，以异国人的眼光画成了一组铜版画《法兰西组画》，很受时人欢迎。后来，他和亨利·拉——方丹一起，参加了库尔贝领导的青年画家小组，开始与印象派画家莫奈等人交往。1859年，他的毕业作品《钢琴旁》被沙龙所拒绝，愤而离开法国，出走伦敦。此后，他的画便同音乐标题结合在一起。例如《母亲的肖像》被称为《灰与黑的协奏曲》， 《白衣少女》被加上《白色交响乐》的副题等等。这一幅《玫瑰与银：产瓷目的公主》，也有一个《玫瑰与银色的交响乐》的名字。惠斯勒这样做，旨在强调对色彩与音乐之间的联想。同时，他对日本浮世绘和屏风画的装饰化手法也深感兴趣。在这幅画中，模特儿被披上不伦不类的“和服”，手持执扇，意在追求日本美人画的风格。地毯、屏风上的图案也充满中国风格，还有一只东方花瓶，点出了“产瓷国的公主”这个主题。
整个画面中，窗帘和上面的小花、地板、衣裙、墙壁、画框……等事物本身的意义已经退居到次要的位置，好像都被画家安排成了不同的音节，随着颜色的增强和层次的变化，发出从低音到中音再到高音缓缓升起的优美 音乐。在黑灰两种主要颜色的对撞中，又泛起层层和谐的白色音符，而到了最明亮画框，仿佛达到的最高音。这幅画从造型、构图、形式统统服从于对色彩和谐的追求以及音乐旋律美的衬托。从而营造出了一个充满诗意和神秘色彩的氛围，流畅的色彩和音乐的旋律 美在这里被表现得淋漓尽致。
In his early years, he went to West Point Military Academy and worked as a surveying and mapping artist. After that, he received training in white sketch and copperplate printmaking. He went to Paris in 1855 and never returned to the United States. In France, he formed a trio with young painters H. Fontaine-Latour and A. Legro. Settled in England in 1859. The style of painting is influenced by D. Velasquez. The masterpieces "By the Piano" and "The Girl in White" have caused a sensation. In her later years, her works pursued Oriental interest. The girls in the painting often wore Japanese kimonos and put on several pieces of Chinese porcelain. In 1892, his retrospective exhibition of works made him recognized by the American public as an American painter who accidentally lived in Britain. Britain chose him as the chairman of the British Artists Association. Not long after, France awarded him the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor.
When Whistler was 3 years old, his father retired as a road engineer for the Western Railway and his family moved to Stonington, Connecticut. In 1841, at the invitation of Czar Nicholas I, his father went to Russia to work for the construction of the railway from Petersburg to Moscow, and his family moved to Petersburg. In 1849, Whistler's father died of illness in Russia, and his mother moved back to Stonington in the United States. In 1851, Whistler was admitted to West Point, a famous military academy in the United States, in compliance with his mother's request that he inherit his father's ambition. However, due to lax discipline, he was rejected by the school in the third grade. He had asked Army Secretary Jefferson Davis to help him resume his studies, but Davis introduced him to the Director of Mapping, Benheim. The captain discovered his talent for painting and hired him in 1854. But drawing maps and drawing are two different things. Benheim soon found out what made him headache. Almost every map passed by Whistler's hand was filled with strange heads and animals. He had to dismiss the young man. It is said that Whistler worked under him for 12 hours and 15 minutes. In the summer of 1855, Whistler finally got the chance to study painting in Paris. He studied sketch and oil painting in Grail's studio and copied ancient paintings at the Louvre Palace. In the summer of 1858, he traveled around France and painted a group of copperplate "French Paintings" with an alien eye, which was very popular. Later, he joined Henry La Fontaine in a group of young painters led by Kulbey and began to associate with impressionist painter Monet and others. In 1859, his graduation work "By the Piano" was rejected by Sharon, and he left France in anger and left London. Since then, his paintings have been combined with music titles. For example, "Portrait of Mother" is called "Concerto of Gray and Black", "Girl in White" is added with the subtitle of "White Symphony" and so on. This painting "Rose and Silver: Princess for Porcelain Production" also has the name of "Symphony of Rose and Silver". Whistler did so to emphasize the association between color and music. At the same time, he is also deeply interested in the decorative techniques of Japanese Ukiyo and screen paintings. In this painting, the model is dressed in a nondescript "kimono", holding a fan, in order to pursue the style of Japanese beauty painting. The pattern on the carpet and screen is also full of Chinese style. There is also an oriental vase, which points out the theme of "Princess of the Country of Producing Porcelain".
Whistler's wild and unrestrained character had a slight convergence as he grew older. In 1872, he wrote family portraits and interior murals for the owner of Liverpool's ship, Leland. He procrastinated, forcing Leland to pay more and more. The dialogue between Leland and the painter became popular because of Whistler's witty humor. Lastly, Leland paid twice as much for Whistler's murals.
His lawsuit with the famous critic John Ruskin in 1875 is also a good story in the history of world painting. Ruskin and Oscar Wilde visited an important exhibition with Whistler's works. They were dissatisfied with the painter's "Fireworks on the Thames: Serenades of Black and Gold". This is an oil painting sprinkled with irregular spots on the black ground. Ruskin believes that it is a deception to knock the paint can over on the canvas and pay the audience. Whistler sued Laskin in London White District Court for insulting his reputation. The court found him guilty, but only paid a fine of ten pence. This humourous joke mediated the quarrel between two famous literati, but Whistler was empty to pay half the litigation fee.
In 1855, he entered the private book school in Paris and moved to London in 1859. Influenced by Spanish painters'painting style, Greek sculpture, pre-Raphaelian school and Japanese art, he created a unique artistic style. Whistler not only painted landscapes, but also customized portraits with unique names combined by color and musical terms, which showed that his intention was not to narrate the story or to create a unique artistic style. The reappearance of reality, but in these completely different fields, has his artistic subject, especially the power of color occupies an important significance.