Whistler A Life for Art's Sake Daniel E. Sutherland

Publication date:
06 Mar 2018
Yale University Press
510 pages: 233 x 156mm
107 color + b-w illus.

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A major new biography of James McNeill Whistler, one of most complex, intriguing, and important of America’s artists

This engaging personal history dispels the popular notion of James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) as merely a combative, eccentric, and unrelenting publicity seeker. The Whistler revealed in these beautifully illustrated pages is an intense, introspective, and complex man, plagued by self-doubt and haunted by an endless pursuit of perfection in his painting and drawing.
“[Sutherland] seeks to get behind the public Whistler . . . never judging or condescending to his subject. . . . The portrait of Whistler that emerges is complex and mysterious . . . a measured and scholarly account of an extraordinary life.”—Ruth Scurr, Wall Street Journal
“The first comprehensive biography of Whistler in at least a generation. . . . Sutherland skillfully captures Whistler’s ambition, tenacity, and insecurity and presents his life in a narrative that does justice to both his triumphs and his failures.”—Eleanor Jones Harvey, American Scholar

Daniel E. Sutherland is distinguished professor of history, University of Arkansas.

“The book is extremely researched…  Sutherland’s easy jocular style is as easy to read as a novel… with Sutherland’s help, love or hate the artist, we can go some way to understanding him”—Margaret English, Pre-Raphaelite Society Newsletter