James Abbott McNeill Whistler was a nineteenth century American artist, who followed the mantra 'art for art's sake'. He once stated that 'art should be independent of all claptrap', and stayed well clear of any sentimentality in his paintings.
Although born in America, the most successful period of his career is arguably considered to be during his stay in London. His first painting upon arrival was At the Piano (1859), a portrait of his niece and her mother in their music room.
Whistler was also inspired by nature, and living close to the Thames, it became a prominent feature in his work. His paintings of the River Thames are the main feature of An American in London, an exhibition currently being held at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Open until the 12th January, Whistler and the Thames will also include other scenes and portraits painted while living in England's capital city. Tickets are £11 for adults, £10 seniors, and £6 concessions.