The Princess from the Land of Porcelain (La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine), James McNeill Whistler, 1863-1865. Oil on canvas, 199.9 x 116.1 cm.
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 10, 1834 - July 17, 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in
painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler titled many of his paintings
"arrangements", "harmonies", and "nocturnes", emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. His most famous painting is Whistler's Mother (1871), the
revered and oft parodied portrait of motherhood. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his
friendships with leading artists and writers.