What Exactly Did Whistler’s Mother Think of her Son’s Portrait?

Arrangement in Grey and Black №1 or Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1871) by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. Image source Wikimedia Commons

You have to wonder what James Whistler’s mother thought of her son’s portrait of her.

In this famous painting, we see a woman sitting alongside a wall, her hands clutching a lace handkerchief. On her face she wears an expression of interminable patience. Her eyes are…

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