Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Louise Caroline Alberta [none]

Title: Princess; Marchioness of Lorne
Nationality: English
Date of birth: 1848.03.18
Place of birth: Kensington, London
Date of death: 1939.12.03
Category: collector


Princess Louise Caroline Alberta was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. She was a sculptor. In 1871 she married Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, the Marquess of Lorne, who was the eldest son of George Douglas, the eighth Duke of Argyll, and Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Sutherland Leveson-Gower, the eldest daughter of the second Duke of Sutherland. She became the Duchess of Argyll in 1900. She had no children and her husband was succeeded by his nephew Niall Diarmid Campbell.


Princess Louise was a pupil of the sculptor J. E. Boehm. She was on friendly terms with Whistler. In the mid-1870s her name was include in a list by Whistler that may have been for a private view of Whistler's 1874 Pall Mall exhibition or a subscription list for Whistler's Venice etchings as proposed in 1876 (GUW #12714). She visited Whistler's Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room y178, and apparently talked of its 'gorgeous loveliness' (GUW #03172). In 1878 Whistler sent her a proof of Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle y137, which had been engraved by Richard Josey (1840-1906), and published by H. Graves and Co., the Princess having requested a copy of the original (GUW #03589).

In the same year Whistler complained to her about the problems he was having getting permission from the Board of Works for the building of his White House, designed by E. W. Godwin. Whistler recorded that 'she greatly sympathized - and I made a grand stroke! I said that if her Royal Highness would only drive past and say how beautiful she thought the house that of course that would put an end to the whole trouble - She laughed saying that she didn't believe her influence was [as] strong as that! but afterwards said in a reflective way that 'Lorne knows Sir James I think...'' (GUW #01746).

In 1878 Princess Louise accompanied her husband to Canada, he having been appointed Governor-General of Canada. She visited Whistler before her departure and he wished them well and gave her a little sketch of Chelsea as a reminder of him (GUW #03572). In Canada Princess Louise and her husband met Oscar Wilde who was on a lecturing tour. They returned to Britain in 1883.

In 1886 Whistler invited Princess Louise and her husband to attend the private view of the Society of British Artists' winter exhibition (GUW #02636). The following year he aksed her to submit a drawing of her own to the Sociey's exhibition (GUW #02637). He described her as having been 'most gracious and indulgent' in her 'protection' (GUW #02635).


Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004. 'Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, Duchess of Argyll (1848-1939), Daughter of Queen Victoria', National Portrait Gallery website.