Painter James McNeill Whistler is legendary for his contributions to the art of the Nineteenth century. Although he was born in America, he is most commonly associated with European art and artists, and especially with the famous group of French Impressionist painters (which included such luminaries as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas). In addition to its subtle connections with the style referred to as Impressionism, Whistler's work is also related stylistically with the Aesthetic movement (Aesthetic artists championed the concept of "art for art's sake").
James McNeill Whistler was also a connoisseur of ceramics and other decorative arts from the Far East. The painter was a sensitive and astute admirer of Asian design, and was also one of the first Western artists to collect and display Eastern objets d'art. He is well known for incorporating images of both Chinese vases and Japanese screens into his paintings. One example that demonstrates his passion for Asian art is the lyrical La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (Princess from the Land of Porcelain) of 1863-64. And his gorgeous Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room is celebration of his love of ceramics and enthusiasm for Eastern design.
You can learn more about James McNeill Whistler's interest in Asian decorative arts and design and his contributions to the Aesthetic movement by selecting one of the above links to the artist's paintings.
Frances Spalding is the author of this intriguing book about artist James McNeill Whistler. As one of Phaidon's Colour Library series of art books, it features a familiar format, with an engaging introduction to Whistler and his works followed by color images of some of the artist's most memorable paintings.