The painting titled “Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother” was created by James Abbott McNeill Whistler in 1871. A realist oil on canvas, it depicts Anna McNeill Whistler, the artist’s mother, sitting on a simple chair with an alert gaze. This painting is also known as “Whistler’s Mother” or “Portrait of Artist’s Mother” and is considered one of the most famous works of the American artist James Whistler outside the USA.
The composition of the painting is strikingly similar to Carlyle’s portrait and another work by Whistler, “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.” The subject’s position, along with the plain background, gives a sense of austerity and simplicity to the art piece. The painting has created a remarkable place in the art world’s history and is currently housed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The painting is considered the most important American painting not on American soil, and its fame has been secured by its sheer simplicity and unique composition. It continues to attract art lovers worldwide due to its study in composition and the use of the color grey. Painted during the peak impressionism period, the painting is an excellent representation of the context and aesthetic of that era.