James McNeill Whistler is one of the first and most illustrious artists to show in our galleries. As a painter in oils and in watercolour, as an etcher and a lithographer, Whistler excelled. He also made a stand for the cause of art for art’s sake, and this cost him dear. Although he won the case, he was bankrupted by the costs of his libel action against the critic John Ruskin. He also lost his new home, the White House, designed for him by E.W. Godwin and in which he had lived for less than a year.