Tanagra dates from between 1869 and 1873.
1863/1867: Whistler incorporated Asian artefacts, particularly fans, as decorative features in his own house and in his paintings from about 1863 on. The arrangement of fans is reminiscent of the figure composition Harmony in Flesh Colour and Red [YMSM 091], which is dated between 1863 and 1867.
1867/1870: Andrew McLaren Young (1913-1975) considered that 'Tanagra belongs to the years 1867 to 1870', the period of the 'Six Projects' (for example, Venus [YMSM 082]), as well as Harmony in Flesh Colour and Red [YMSM 091] and Annabel Lee [YMSM 079]. 1
1869: The pose of the figure is very like that in the cartoon Venus [M.0357], which is signed and dated 1869 (it bears Whistler's first dated butterfly monogram).
1871/1873: Tanagra is signed with a butterfly of a slightly later date, between 1871 and 1873. A similar signature is seen on Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony [YMSM 056], which is dated 1864-1873.
1: Young, A. McLaren, James McNeill Whistler, Arts Council Gallery, London, and Knoedler Galleries, New York, 1960 (cat. no. 22).
Last updated: 15th December 2020 by Margaret