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

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Symphonie en argent et émeraude


  • Date unknown: said to have been given by the artist to J. M. Lalouette (d. 1871), and by him to his niece.
  • ca 1890: bought from the Galerie Drouet, Paris, by a jeweller;
  • Date unknown: passed to his grandson, R. Gerter (dates unknown), Paris;
  • 1980: sold by Gerter to Nat Leeb (1906-1990), Paris;
  • Date unknown: sold to a private collector.

A handwritten note attached to the stretcher states:

'Je confirme que ma mère avait recu cette marine de son oncle, M. Lalouette, restaurateur 5, rue de l'Odéon à Paris VIe, qui la tenait de son ami et client, le peintre Whistler. J. Arubery [?]'

According to R. Gerter, it was bought by his grandfather, a jeweller, from the Galerie Drouet, Paris, about 1890, and passed by family succession to R. Gerter who sold it to the present owner.

J. M. Lalouette ran a restaurant at 5 rue de l'Odéon, of which Whistler was a patron during his first stay in Paris, 1855-1859. In 1862 Whistler still owed Lalouette money, and the painting could, in theory, as is suggested by the note on the stretcher, have been accepted in lieu of further payment. 1 However, it has been impossible to confirm the above provenance.


It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime.


1: Lalouette to Whistler, 6 May 1862, GUW #02476.

Last updated: 29th November 2019 by Margaret