- James McNeill Whistler
- Not on view
- 19 × 19 1⁄4 in. (48.6 × 48.7 cm)
- Credit Line
- Gift of Laura Dreyfus Barney and Natalie Clifford Barney in memory of their mother, Alice Pike Barney
- Mediums Description
- pastel on paper mounted on paperboard
- Portrait male — Whistler, James Abbot Mc Neill
- Occupation — art — painter
- Object Number
The popularity and financial success of Whistler's Venetian works marked a turning point in his career, and the artist promoted his energetic style with a colorful public persona. His lectures and awards earned respect, while contentious relations with clients and critics garnered less favorable press. Artist and Washington, D.C., socialite Alice Pike Barney captures some of Whistler's intensity and arrogance in this dynamic pastel. Barney toured Europe at an early age and became a patron and collector as well as a prolific artist in her own right. After her death, her daughters donated her studio and its contents to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Pastels were among her favorite media, and she honed these skills in Paris in the 1890s, counting Whistler (another expert in pastels) among her instructors.
Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano, 2021.