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

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Portrait of Luke A. Ionides


Two titles have been suggested:

  • 'Portrait of L. A. Ionides, Esq.' (1905, ISSPG). 1
  • 'Portrait of Luke A. Ionides' (1980, YMSM). 2

'Portrait of Luke A. Ionides' is the preferred title.


Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, private collection
Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, private collection

A half length portrait in vertical format. It shows a young man with dark brown hair and a substantial beard and moustache. He is seated in three-quarter view to right, against a pale background.


Lucas (Luke) Alexander Ionides (1837-1924).

He was painted by George Frederick Watts (1817-1904), Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), and Sir William Blake Richmond as well as by Whistler. 3


The Pennells compared it with At the Piano [YMSM 024] and Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room [YMSM 034] as showing the influence of Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet (1819-1877):

'Two other pictures of 1860 are the portrait of Mr. Luke Ionides with long, brown beard, and The Music Room. In both, the influence of the Louvre and Courbet is evident. The portrait has the heavy painting of At the Piano, though it is much more brilliant. But the other picture marks a tremendous advance.' 4


1: 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. 89).

2: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 32).

3: Long, Christopher, ed., Ionides Genealogy, Family Group Sheet online.

4: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 89.

Last updated: 1st December 2020 by Margaret