"James McNeill Whistler
, the painter of that most American of works--the very icon of American motherhood--"Arrangement in Grey and Black" (better known, of course, as "Whistler's Mother"), ironically left the United States at the age of twenty-one, never to return. Whistler lived as an expatriate, alternating between London and Paris depending on the local artistic climate at the time. Egotistical, abrasive, and yet extremely talented, he stands as an isolated figure in art history, never directly associated with a specific style or school of painting. As a result, Whistler's work has in modern times rarely received the attention it deserves."