Copy after a Picture of an Inundation dates from 1857 or 1858. 1
Years later, on 6 August 1900, Whistler told the Pennells that when he was first studying in Paris he got a commission from Captain Williams of Stonington, Conn. 'to copy as many pictures as I chose for twenty-five dollars a piece, and I copied … [a picture of] an inundation.' 3 The Pennells suggest that this was 'no doubt The Deluge or The Wreck.' 4
Two of Whistler's copies date from 1857 (Copy after Schnetz's 'Les Adieux du consul Boëtus à sa famille' [YMSM 013] and Copy after Ziegler's 'La Vision de St Luc' [YMSM 015]). Others may date from 1858; however, there is no record in the Archives du Louvre of Whistler having requested permission to copy a painting of an 'Inundation.'
It is possible that the 'Inundation' was an oil, L'inondation à St Cloud, 203 × 300 cm, painted by the Romantic landscape painter Paul Huet (1803-1869). It was first exhibited in 1855 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where it is possible that Whistler first saw it. It was acquired by the Musée du Luxembourg in 1857 (R.F.96), and admired by Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). 5 It could have been copied by Whistler in the Musée du Luxembourg in late 1857 or early 1858.
Last updated: 21st November 2019 by Margaret