Whistler's Mother, James McNeill Whistler, America, 1871, Oil on canvas, 144cm x163cm, Paris Orsay Museum
In this painting, the painter's mother sat sideways in the room, in a peaceful manner. She wore a white scarf around her neck, a white handkerchief in her hand and a black dress that covered the entire chair. So black dress occupied the center of the screen. This is an excellent modern portrait. Large areas of walls and floors are pure gray, with a sharp contrast to the mother's black dress and black curtains, chairs. White flowers on the curtain, a little bit of stars just like beating note. Gray frame hung on a picture frame, painted on a white background and a few other places on the screen echoes the formation of white, contrast, strong, but also downplay the screen black and gray two colors monotony. At the time, the painting was rejected by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, but Bock Schall, a member of the prestigious Royal Society, declared that he would resign if the picture is not displayed.
The painting focuses on the exploration of color change, artistic beauty. However, while exploring the art form, the painter did not give up the real expression of real life. The characterization of the characters on the screen can be described as one-third. The author with a heart of enthusiasm and reverence created a simple and unobtrusive mother's image, with a touching charm. The painting is one of the greatest portraits of the 19th century.