Monday Lectures

Zoom lecture



28 March 2022

James McNeill Whistler, Masterpieces from the Frick Collection, New York

Lecture on the exhibition at Musée d’Orsay, Paris

(until 8 May 2022)

with Chris Boïcos


Along with the United States and England, France can be considered James Whistler’s third homeland. Born in 1834 in Lowell, Massachussetts, Whistler launched his art career in Paris between 1855 et 1859. Even after his departure for London he kept very close ties to the Paris art world and remained in touch with all the major modern painters of the day from Courbet to Manet and Monet. In 1891, The French state bought its first painting by Whistler, Arrangement in Gray and Balck: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother.


Starting in 1910, the great New York collector, Henry Clay Frick bought 18 works by Whistler turning him into the 19th century artist best represented in his future museum. It is these works, complemented by portraits and paintings from the Musée d’Orsay collection, that are the subject of the exhibition. They include masterpieces like “Ocean” painted in Chile, Whistler’s celebrated prints of Venice as well as the portraits of Mrs Frederick Leyland, Rosa Corder and the famous aesthete and friend or Proust’s Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac. Whistler’s lifelong relationship with Paris and French artists will be at the heart of our discussion of the great American artist.

James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Black and Gold, Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac 1891-92.

The Frick Collection, New York

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