James Abbott McNeill Whistler

William Merritt Chase American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 771

On his way to Spain in 1885 by way of London, Chase decided to introduce himself to James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), whose works he had long admired. Whistler urged him to stay longer so they could paint portraits of one another. In depicting Whistler, Chase echoed traits that appear in his subject’s recent portraits, such as that of Théodore Duret (13.20): an elongated figure, a low-keyed palette, free brushwork, and ambiguous space. Although Chase must have intended to honor Whistler and his style with these echoes, Whistler was offended, calling the work a “monstrous lampoon” and possibly destroying his portrait of Chase.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase (American, Williamsburg, Indiana 1849–1916 New York), Oil on canvas, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.