American Gilded Age artist who was associated with the Tonalism movement and was best known for his painting "Whistler's Mother" from 1871.
He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but was dismissed from the institution as a result of his poor grades and deplorable behavior.
His early painting "Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl" from 1861 depicted his art manager and mistress Joanna Hiffernan.
He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, to George Washington Whistler and Anna Matilda McNeill. He lived in Russia (where his father worked as an engineer) for part of his childhood and studied at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.
He frequently viewed his paintings in musical terms, naming them nocturnes, harmonies, and the like. This kind of thinking was likely influenced by the work of author Theophile Gautier.