James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean, 1866, The Frick Collection, photo: © Joe Coscia Jr.

James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), Masterpieces from The Frick Collection, New York

Feb 8, 2022 - May 8, 2022

The Frick Collection, opened to the public in 1935 in the New York mansion of the industrial magnate and major collector Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), is one of the most important European art museums in the United States. While it is closed for renovations, a significant group of works by the American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) will leave New York for the first time in more than a century to be presented at the Musée d’Orsay.

Born in Massachusetts in 1834, Whistler began his career in Paris between 1855 and 1859. After settling in London, the artist maintained close ties with the Parisian art scene, exhibiting at the Salon des Refusés (Exhibition of Rejects) in 1863 and becoming one of the “leaders” of the Symbolist generation in the 1890s.

The Musée d’Orsay will present the astonishing landscape L’Océan, painted by Whistler during a trip to Chile, three pastels and twelve prints with Venetian subjects, and three large portraits representative of his famous “symphonies in white” and “arrangements in black”: the portrait of Mrs. Frederick Leyland (a masterpiece of the Aesthetic Movement), the portrait of Miss Rosa Corder, and finally the portrait of the extravagant aesthete Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac.


Paul Perrin, curator of painting at the Musée d’Orsay

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