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

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The Blue Band

The Blue Band dates from Whistler's stay in St Ives between January and March 1884. 1

According to Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), 'a fish shop with a blue band' at St Ives was painted both by Whistler and Menpes, and Whistler's painting was exhibited at Dowdeswell's in 1884 or 1886, as 'The Blue Band'. 2

None of the pictures exhibited at Dowdeswells in 1884 or 1886 appear to correspond with Menpes' description. However, Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop [YMSM 263] was exhibited with 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 49) and has a striking pale blue band painted above the shop, so it may have been the same picture.


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 262).

2: Menpes 1904 A [more], pp. 118-19, 140.

Last updated: 2nd October 2019 by Grischka