Copy after a Group in Couture's 'Romains de la décadence' dates from between 1857 and 1858.
On 17 June 1856, Whistler, sponsored by Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre (1806-1874), had obtained permission to enter the Musées Impériaux, Paris, 'pour les jours d'étude' (on study days). 1 Whistler's known copies date from late 1857 or early 1858 and were probably sent to America in March 1858.
According to Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), who was with Whistler in Paris in the late 1850s, one of Whistler's commissions from 'a whaling captain' was to paint a copy after a group in Romains de la décadence by Thomas Couture (1815-1879), then in the Musée du Luxembourg. 2 Couture's painting was bought from the Salon of 1847 and exhibited at the Luxembourg from 1851 until after 1871. It is now in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. There is, however, no record in the Archives du Louvre of Whistler having requested permission to copy a painting by Couture.
Last updated: 5th June 2021 by Margaret