Whistler's painting was a copy after the painting by Jean-Victor Schnetz (1787–1870), Les Adieux du Consul Boetius à sa Famille, 1826, oil on canvas, 31.0 × 26.0 cm, Musée des Augustins, Musée des Beaux Arts de Toulouse.
It is not known if Whistler copied the whole of Schnetz's composition, or simply the main figures.
Nothing is known about the technique, although, given the similarities between Whistler's surviving copies, it was probably a carefully painted oil painting on canvas. Whistler commented, 'I have no doubt I made something very interesting out of them. There were very wonderful things even then, the beginning of harmonies and purple schemes. I suppose it must have been intuitive.' 1
Last updated: 21st November 2019 by Margaret