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

Home > Catalogue > Browse > Design for a Mosaic <<   >>

Design for a Mosaic


  • 1888/1890: acquired by Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (b. ca 1829-d.1891);
  • 1891: bequeathed to his widow, Louisa Henrietta Hutchinson (b. 1836/1837);
  • 1892: possibly sold at auction, Christie's, London, 27 February 1892 (lot 30) as 'An Arrangement in Lemon and Turquoise' and bought by 'Roberts' or 'Robertson', probably Walford Graham Robertson (1867-1948);
  • 1949: after Robertson's death, sold at auction, Christie's, London, 22 July 1949 (lot 135) as 'A Japanese Figure. Design for a Mosaic' and bought by Leger, London dealers.
  • By 1960: owned by Mrs J. L. Neame, Jersey, C. I.
  • 1965: sold at auction from the collection of the late Hon. Mrs David Fellowes, Sotheby's, London, 14 July 1965 (lot 54) and bought by a private collector, after which it passed by family descent to a private collector.

There is some difficulty in separating the history of this pastel and The Japanese Dress [M.1227]. 1

See further details in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 1226).


  • 1905: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 40) as 'Design for a Mosaic'.

Edward F. Strange described it in 1905 as 'a brilliant and luminous drawing' and regretted that, despite being 'approved and accepted', the commison was never actually completed and displayed in the Victoria and Albert Musueum. 2


1: Daily Chronicle, London, 29 February 1892, mentions the auction at Christie's, but does not help to identify the work sold..

2: Strange, Edward F., 'Whistler Memorial Exhibition', Morning Post, London, 23 February 1905.

Last updated: 5th March 2021 by Margaret