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James McNeill Whistler (1834 -1903)

James Abbott McNeill Whistler RBA (1834 – 1903) was an American artist based primarily in the UK. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”.

His signature is well-known in it’s own right, as a stylised butterfly with a long stinger for a tail.

Whistler’s influence on the art world and the broader culture of his time was partially due to his artistic theories and his friendships with other leading artists and writers.