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

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Portrait of M. R. Elden (1)

Portrait of M. R. Elden (1) dates from 1882. 1

On 11 June 1882 Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934) recorded in his diary a visit to Whistler, 'He has begun a full length portrait of Eldon [sic].' 2

According to the Pennells, this full-length portrait, 'a fine thing', which they knew from a photograph, and a small version of it, dating from 1882, had 'vanished.' 3

In an undated letter, Whistler urged Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885) to come for a sitting, possibly for this portrait:

'I hope you will turn up early tomorrow morning at the Studio - in time for breakfast

Do be there by 9. o'clock - so that we might begin the day betimes - Every thing gets so late! we must turn over a new leaf!' 4

However, there is no further reference to the portrait.


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 243).

2: Copies, 27 March 1872-18 April 1885, GUW #13132; 1872-1894, GUW #03432.

3: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 303; vol. 2, p. 26.

4: [1882/1884], GUW #12819.

Last updated: 8th November 2019 by Margaret