Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Grey: The Chinese Screen may have been started in some form between 1863 and 1867, but it is more likely that it was painted between 1873 and 1879. It may have been painted in whole or in part by Walter Greaves (1846-1930).
1863/1864: Andrew McLaren Young (1913-1975) suggested that the model was similar to Sketch for 'La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine' [YMSM 049], which implied a date of 1863/1864. 1 However, the model and setting are different, and the brushwork (where it is not rubbed down) is only superficially like Whistler's.
1863-1867: The fireplace that appears in Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Grey: The Chinese Screen [YMSM 051] is similar to the one in Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl [YMSM 052], which was in the dining room on the ground floor at 7 Lindsey Row, Chelsea, where Whistler lived from March 1863 to 1867.
However, the dress is not remotely like the tight-waisted, wide-skirted fashions of the period from 1863 to 1867.
1875: The dress, in overall shape and in detail, looks later in date. It is similar to that seen in portraits dating from around 1875, such as that reproduced above.
1879: It is just possible that Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Grey: The Chinese Screen [YMSM 051] was started by Whistler but scraped down and mainly destroyed by him at the time of his bankruptcy.
1910: It could then have been repaired and reworked by another hand about 1910 (see further details under HISTORY and TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION tabs.
Last updated: 4th June 2020 by Margaret