The painting masterpieces you must see once in your life



Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, Whistler's Mother


Artwork Details

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, Portrait of the Artist's Mother
Oil, canvas
162.5 x 144.3 cm
© Creative Commons

why we love it

This work is known as “The Victorian Mona Lisa” and is considered one of the best-known American artworks created outside the United States, having become an icon due to its presence in popular culture. The entire composition underscores the humility of a decent and morally impeccable Victorian woman who gave her best to be a good mother and housewife. In the American context, the painting was hailed and embraced as an embodiment of morality and motherhood.

Created by James McNeill Whistler in 1871, the painting is renowned for its composition and use of color. It exemplifies Whistler’s interest in “art for art’s sake,” emphasizing harmony and form over narrative content. At the time of its creation, the painting broke from traditional portraiture by focusing on a more subdued and contemplative mood. This approach influenced future generations of artists.

The painting has become an iconic image in American and Western culture, often referenced and parodied in various media. It represents a symbol of motherhood and familial devotion. A stamp was issued featuring a stylized image of Whistler’s mother, accompanied by the motto “In memory and In honor of the mothers of America.”

In 1891, it became the first American artwork purchased by the French state and remains the most important American work residing outside the United States.

This is just our small bit, let your curiosity do the rest.
July 10, 1834
July 17, 1903

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