James McNeill Whistler - Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt 1903

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Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt 1903

Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt 1903
208x91cm oil/canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

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From National Gallery of Art, Washington:
A close friend of Whistler, George Washington Vanderbilt II commissioned this full-length portrait in 1897 to hang in Biltmore House, his enormous château on 125,000 acres of wilderness near Asheville, North Carolina. The artist quickly responded, "I could not ask for a more sympathetic subject than yourself and therefore am greatly pleased at the prospect of painting your portrait!" He commenced painting in June and by December the work was near completion. Vanderbilt sat for the finishing touches in August 1898, but Whistler then refused to relinquish the painting, claiming it was yet unfinished. The artist's poor health over the next few years prevented any further sittings, and the portrait was still in his studio at his death in 1903. Vanderbilt finally took possession of the painting the following year. In the meantime, he had commissioned a portrait from John Singer Sargent, which now hangs at Biltmore.