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

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Symphony in Blue and White

Symphony in Blue and White probably dated from between 1868 and 1878. 1 According to an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald, 19 January 1880, Robert McTear & Co. of Glasgow proposed to sell, in their auction of 22-23 January 1880, 'A Symphony in Blue and White' that had been the cause of the Whistler v Ruskin libel case in 1878.

The title does bear some similarity to that of Symphony in Silver and Grey [YMSM 146], which was in a Glasgow collection at a later date, but since neither painting has been described it is impossible to identify them.

'Symphonies' were often figure subjects but could be Thames riverscapes: a date between 1868 and the mid-1870s therefore has been suggested for this work.


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 146a).

Last updated: 31st March 2020 by Margaret