A drawing that has not been located, but is known from a photograph, Study of drapery [M.0567], may have been a study for this painting.
The technique is known only from second-hand sources. In 1865 William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919) commented that Whistler's exhibit was 'unsurpassed in delicate aberrances and intricate haphazards of colour' but added that, in terms of completeness, it 'might probably have been held over with advantage till next year.' 1
It may have been 'destroyed' by the artist at the time of his bankruptcy in 1879, or deposited around that time with Raffaelle Pinti (1826-1881), painter and restorer. Pinte died in London on 30 July 1881. In August 1881 Whistler wrote to ask Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) to retrieve from 'the Studio of the late Signor Pinte ... a small destroyed panel (my work) left there some time since by me. This picture representing a girl in Japanese dress, known in Academy catalogue as the scarf, belongs to one of my clients.' 2
The cartoon in Punch, 13 May 1865, does show the painting in a fairly broad frame but it is not clear if this is an accurate representation or invention.
Last updated: 8th August 2021 by Grischka