Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl – Connie Gilchrist dates from between 1877 and 1879. 1
1877: Lily Langtry (1853-1929) saw the portrait in Whistler's studio and told Whistler, 'I have seen Connie Gilchrist but once, but I am sure it is hers. Nobody but you could have done it so beautifully.' 3
1879: It was seen and described in Whistler's White House studio in March 1879 by a New York Herald journalist. 4 It was also exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1879 (cat. no. 55) and was presumably considered finished by Whistler at that time.
1881/1884: However, he seems to have changed his mind, and later told the owner, Henry Du Pré Labouchere (1831-1912) that he wished to work on it further, although, according to the Pennells, he actually wanted to destroy it. 5
1890-1903: Labouchere said, after Whistler had kept it for ten years, 'He is still not sufficiently satisfied with it to return my picture, and I don't expect ever to see it again.' 7 It was still in Whistler's studio at the time of his death, in 1903, and was later returned to the owner.
3: Langtry, Lily, The Days I Knew, London, 1925, pp. 66-67.
4: New York Herald, New York, 18 March 1879.
7: Ward, Edwin A., Recollections of a Savage, London, 1923, p. 263.
Last updated: 21st May 2021 by Margaret