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

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Sea Piece

A 'sea piece' was being painted by Whistler during his stay at Guéthary, Basses-Pyrénées, October/November 1862, when he asked George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) to order a picture frame:

'I am painting a couple of pictures and wish on my arrival in Paris to have frames ready for them - Will you have the great kindness to order them for me from your frame-maker? - The first is for a sea piece of deep tone … The canvass [sic] is one of the regular French dimension, "toile de soixante".' 1

Lucas ordered the frame at Dutocq's in Paris on 21 October and on 2 December accompanied Whistler to see it. 2 In December 1862 Lucas received a cheque for 280 francs from Whistler in London, to pay the frame-maker, with a request to dispatch the frames to Whistler's address in London. 3


1: 18 October [1862], GUW #09187.

2: Diary, Lucas Collection, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; quoted by Randall 1979 [more], pp. 143, 145.

3: [19 December 1862], GUW #09189.

Last updated: 26th November 2019 by Margaret