Variations on the title have been suggested:
The 1980 title, 'Study of a Female Figure' has been accepted.
A figure study in vertical format, showing a woman dressed in a long white robe, with dark hair. She stands facing the viewer, looking slightly downwards. Her arms may have been clasped around her breast or back. She stands in front of a pale coloured wall, with a window or wall with a chequered pattern, behind her head.
There are photographs of the painting in the Frick Art Reference Library and the Pennell Collection, Library of Congress.
According to an annotated photograph in the Frick Art Reference Library, New York, it was once owned by the Galerie Barbazanges, Hodebert & Cie., Paris, as a portrait of Sara Bernhardt (1844-1923). This is unlikely, mostly because this appears to have been painted fairly early in Bernhardt's career.
Bernhardt may have posed to Whistler briefly in the 1890s: see Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt [YMSM 399].
Last updated: 19th November 2019 by Margaret