J.A.M. Whistler was an American-born, British-based artist who became known during his lifetime as an aesthete, a proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake,” and a forerunner of the Post-Impressionist art movement. Whistler was bold and self-assured, developing a reputation for verbal and legal retaliations against art critics, dealers, and artists who insulted his work. His artwork, however, represented one of the earliest shifts from traditional representational art to a form of abstraction that is at the heart of much of modern art–using terms such as ‘symphony,’ ‘arrangement,’ and ‘nocturne’ to suggest a correlation between musical notes and variations in color tone.