Two titles have been recorded:
'Harmony in Black and Red' is the original and preferred title.
One photograph of the portrait is in the Glasgow University Library; another is in the Lucas Collection, Baltimore, signed on the mount with a butterfly of about 1882 and inscribed by Whistler 'Arrangement in Black No. 6'.
In calling the portrait 'Arrangement in Black No. 6' Whistler was confirming its relationship with Arrangement in Black: Lady Meux [YMSM 228], which was in the same series.
A wood engraving in the Illustrated London News, 22 July 1882, listed it as 'The Blue Girl', confusing it with Scherzo in Blue: The Blue Girl [YMSM 226] in the same exhibition. Whistler wrote complaining of this 'new libel' to Edmund Hodgson Yates (1831-1894): '… doubtless the Art Director of your Contemporary can at least read, and would scarcely have offered, as the "Blue Girl," what in the Catalogue is entitled "Arrangement in Black & Red".' 4
Blackburn described Harmony in Black and Red [YMSM 236] as a 'single figure, in dark dress, standing, nearly life size; touches of red on hat, and coral necklace.' 5 Blanche, writing in 1905, remembered 'une face anguleuse de "Barmaid" sur un haut col paré de perles rouges de corail', and in 1919 he described it at the Grosvenor in 1882 as 'tout noir, mais d'un noir translucide, comme de l'encre sur l'or, était une figure anguleuse, au long col paré de perles de corail: Maud.' (1905, translated, 'the angular face of a barmaid, with a high collar, adorned with red coral beads'; 1919, translated, 'it was all black, but translucent black, like ink on gold, an angular figure, with a long collar adorned with coral beads.' 6
One photograph of the portrait is in the Glasgow University Library; another in the Lucas Collection, Baltimore, signed on the mount with a butterfly of about 1882 and inscribed by Whistler 'Arrangement in Black No. 6'. The photographs of Harmony in Black and Red [YMSM 236] give its proportions. Accepting Blackburn's description of it as a portrait 'nearly life-size', these proportions would correspond to a canvas of approximately 75 x 36" (191 x 91 cm).
Maud Franklin (1857-1939). It seems that Whistler considered his portraits of Maud "artists' pictures" (seeArrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket [YMSM 181]) compared to his fashionable portraits (such as Arrangement in Black: Lady Meux [YMSM 228] and Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell [YMSM 242]).
1: VI Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1882 (cat. no. 127).
2: Photograph, ca 1882, Lucas Collection, Baltimore.
Last updated: 10th November 2020 by Margaret