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

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Girl with Cherry Blossom

Girl with Cherry Blossom dates from some time between 1867 and 1879, but most likely between 1871 and 1878.

Girl with Cherry Blossom, Private Collection
Girl with Cherry Blossom, Private Collection

The first owner, Charles Benjamin Bright McLaren (1st Lord Aberconway) (1850-1934) (later Lord Aberconway) wrote the following note, dated 5 October 1924, which is attached to the stretcher,

'I saw this picture in Whistler's studio while being painted there was a standing figure also on the canvas holding the umbrella of which a portion is left when the picture was cut in two. I lived next door to Whistler & knew him well.'

Girl with Cherry Blossom appears to be a fragment of The Three Girls [YMSM 088], which, at least in its original concept, was begun in 1867. If the fragment was cut from a revised composition, possibly on a new canvas, it was begun about 1871. Due to discrepancies in the provenance it is difficult to tell when (and if) it was cut from a larger composition and perhaps reworked by Whistler, and when Whistler stopped working on it.

Last updated: 15th December 2020 by Margaret