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A young woman with pale, peachy skin, wearing a long, flowing white dress, stands in front of a white curtain in this vertical portrait painting. Her auburn-red hair cascades down over and behind her shoulders. She looks to our left with green eyes, and her pink, full lips are closed. Her dress has puffed shoulders above a white-on-white striped pattern on the long sleeves. She stands on an animal pelt; it is not clear whether it is a wolf or a bear. The pelt spans the width of the painting and overlaps a blue patterned carpet. The animal’s mouth gapes to show sharp teeth. Its glassy eyes are wide open, and it seems to look at us. The edges of the animal skin are red. The woman holds a white lily by her side in her left hand, while yellow and purple flowers lie scattered on the pelt.

James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1861–1863, 1872, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Harris Whittemore Collection, 1943.6.2

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James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, 1864, oil on canvas, Tate, London, Bequeathed by Arthur Studd 1919, N03418. Image: © Tate, London 2017

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James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 3, 1865–1867, oil on canvas, The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, The University of Birmingham, 39.24. Image: Bridgeman Images

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James McNeill Whistler, Wapping, 1860–1864, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, John Hay Whitney Collection, 1982.76.8

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James McNeill Whistler, Jo, 1861 (state i/i), drypoint on ivory laid paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection, 1949.5.536

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James McNeill Whistler, A White Note, oil on canvas, The Lunder Collection, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, 021.2011

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James McNeill Whistler, The Artist in His Studio (Whistler in His Studio), 1865/1872, 1895, oil on paper mounted on panel, The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection, 1912.141. Image: The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY

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James McNeill Whistler, Weary, 1863 (state iv/vi), drypoint on ivory Japan paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Myron A. Hofer, 1947.10.5

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James McNeill Whistler, Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks, 1864, oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917, Cat. 1112

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James McNeill Whistler, Battersea Reach, 1862/1863, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (Bequest of James Parmelee; Frame restored in memory of Anne Wallick and Marianna Grove, members of the Women’s Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art), 2014.79.35

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Gustave Courbet, Jo, la belle Irlandaise, 1865–1866, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929, 29.100.63

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James McNeill Whistler, Sleeping Woman, 1863, chalk and charcoal on cream wove paper mounted on paperboard, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection, 1948.11.306

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ecce Ancilla Domini! (The Annunciation), 1849–1850, oil on canvas, Tate, London, Purchased 1886, N01210. Image: © Tate, London 2017

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George Frederic Watts, Lady Dalrymple also known as Sophia Dalrymple, 1851–1853, oil on canvas, Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey, COMWG.200. Image: Bridgeman Images

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John Everett Millais, A Somnambulist, 1871, oil on canvas, Private Collection, Delaware, Courtesy of the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington. Image: Bridgeman Images

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Albert Herter, Portrait of Bessie (Miss Elizabeth Newton), 1892, oil on canvas, High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Purchase with funds from the Margaret and Terry Stent Endowment for the Acquisition of American Art and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, 2000.162

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Frederick Walker, The Woman in White, 1871, gouache on paper, Tate, London, Presented by Sir Claude Phillips in memory of his sister Eugenie Phillips 1906, N02080. Image: © Tate, London 2017

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Fernand Khnopff, Portrait of Madeleine Mabille, 1888, oil with pencil on mahogany panel, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Heinz Family Acquisition Fund, 93.120. Photograph © 2020 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

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Andrée Karpelès, Symphonie en blanc, 1908, oil on canvas, Musée d’Arts de Nantes, Inv. 2071. Image: Cécile Clos/Musée d’Arts de Nantes, © rights reserved

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John Singer Sargent, Fumée d’ambre gris, 1880, oil on canvas, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, 1955.15. Image: Courtesy Clark Art Institute, clarkart.edu

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