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

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Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland


Only one title is known:

  • 'Portrait sketch of F. R. Leyland' (1905, ISSPG). 1
  • 'Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland' (1980, YMSM). 2


Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland, photograph, GUL
Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland, photograph, GUL

A study of a full-length male figure, standing with his right hand on hip, slightly turned to his left, his head facing the viewer. He has a moustache and pointed beard. He is wearing a dark suit and carrying a coat or cloak over his left arm. The floor and dado are dark, and the wall above, paler, with a narrow column or painted vertical strip to right.


Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892).


Both Curry and Merrill comment that the pose and dress of Leyland seen in the Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland [YMSM 096], and developed in Arrangement in Black: Portrait of F. R. Leyland [YMSM 097], are comparable to those in a portrait by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) of Philip IV (1623, Museo Nacional del Prado), of which Whistler had photographs. 3 It is not, however, certain when he acquired these photographs. 4


1: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 97).

2: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 96).

3: Curry 1984 [more], plate 15; Merrill 1998 [more], pp. 127-28, Portrait of Philip IV King of Spain by Velázquez, albumen print, Glasgow University Library, repr. p. 129.

4: Portrait of Rey Felipe IV (Philip IV King of Spain) by Velázquez, albumen print, Glasgow University Library Whistler PH3/4 and 6; the first of these was published by A. Giraudon, 15 rue Bonaparte, Paris, which suggests it dates from after 1877. University Collections website at University Collections website at

Last updated: 25th November 2020 by Margaret