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Arrangement in Grey and Black, No.2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle

Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

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The great Victorian and social critic, Thomas Carlyle, asked Whistler to paint his portrait after having seen Whistler's portrait of his own mother in the artist's studio. Like 'Whistler's Mother' (Musee d'Orsay, Paris), Carlyle is shown in profile against a plain background. Despite the fact that Whistler was portraying the most famous moral philosopher of the Victorian age, he chose to give the painting an abstract title.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

  • Date

    1872–1873

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    171.1 x 143.5 cm

  • Accession number

    671

  • Acquisition method

    purchased from the artist, 1891

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Normally on display at

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG Scotland

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