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One of the most world’s most iconic paintings is heading to Australia for the first time in 2016. James McNeill Whistler’s iconic “Portrait of the Artist’s Mother” will travel from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), where it will be explored from a variety of perspectives. The exclusive display of “Whistler’s Mother” is one of the highlights of the NGV’s exhibitions and programs for Autumn and Winter 2016.

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Contrary to popular opinion, James Abbott McNeill Whistler's famous 1871 painting "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1," better known as "Portrait of the Artist's Mother," is not a harsh and puritanical portrayal of a matriarch. It's a homage to the rich and tender relationship shared by a mother and her loving son, says Norton Simon Museum associate curator Emily Beeny.

The painting, made in London while the artist's mother, Anna, was living with him at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, was the last Whistler would submit to the Royal Academy of Art.

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James Abbott McNeill Whistler's iconic 1871 painting "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1," better known as "Portrait of the Artist's Mother," is coming to Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum in March as part of an exchange with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the museum announced Wednesday.

The first-time collaboration between the museums will see three 19th century masterpieces from the Norton Simon traveling to the Musée d’Orsay, while three paintings from the Paris museum will visit Pasadena. The six paintings will be on display simultaneously March 27 to June 22.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:50

Early Picasso Drawing Discovered in Spain

Staff members at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain discovered an early portrait by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) while restoring a different work by the 20th century Spanish artist. Workers removed the cardboard backing on Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1896), which was executed by a 15-year-old Picasso, revealing a charcoal drawing of a man with a pipe.

Reyes Jimenez, head of restoration at the Picasso Museum, believes that the charcoal work is older than the portrait of the artist’s mother. The charcoal drawing is an important piece because it illustrates Picasso’s artistic tenacity as well as his mastery of challenging techniques from a young age. The newly discovered drawing suggests that Picasso’s early knowledge was greater than previously believed.

The Picasso Museum, which opened to the public in 1963, houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by Picasso. It was the first museum dedicated solely to the work of Picasso and the only one created during the artist’s lifetime.  

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