Only one title has been suggested:
It was numbered (1) to distinguish it from another portrait of Whistler's father, Portrait of Major G. W. Whistler (2) [YMSM 029].
It is likely that it was a copy of the lithographic portrait by Charles G. Crehen (1829-after 1891), published by Thomas Larcombe (fl. 1859). The photograph of this lithograph, reproduced above, was made by Henna & Kent in Brighton, where George William Whistler (1822-1869) lived towards the end of his life, and it could well have been a photograph of the actual lithograph sent to the young James Whistler.
George Washington Whistler (1800-1849).
A sequence of portraits of Major Whistler by various artists start with miniatures done when he was a young man, about 1821. 2
A portrait by Henry Inman (1801-1846), is said to have been painted about 1843. It closely resembles another portrait, by Charles G. Crehen (1829-after 1891) (reproduced below), except that the sitter wears a dark jacket.
The most likely source for Whistler's copy is a lithograph of G. W. Whistler signed by Charles G. Crehen (1829-after 1891), which was published by Thomas Larcombe in America about 1848. It is reproduced in Vose's biography of the artist's father, published in Boston, 1887. 3 It is an oval, and shows the head and shoulders, turned slightly to the right, of a clean-shaven man with long curly hair. He wears a light jacket with wide lapels, a high collar, and a neatly tied cravat.
In a portrait by Chester Harding (1792-1866), in the Hunterian (reproduced above), he is seen in the same pose as in a portrait formerly attributed to Whistler (Portrait of Major G. W. Whistler (2) [YMSM 029] (also reproduced above) but the face is more subtly modelled, his sideburns shorter, and stock larger.
No lithographs are known of any of these portraits, apart from that by Crehen, which is therefore more likely to have been the source for the portrait mentioned by Whistler to Deborah Haden.
3: Vose, George L., A Sketch of The Life and Works of George W. Whistler, Civil Engineer, Boston and New York, 1887, p. 5, lithograph by Crehen repr. frontispiece.
4: Oval, 31.8 x 23.5, GLAHA 51011; it is either the original for, or a copy after the lithograph by C. G. Crehen, published by Larcombe, an impression of which is in the Revillon Bequest, University of Glasgow.
Last updated: 7th March 2020 by Margaret