Ariel dates from between 1884 and 1886. 1
1884: It may have been inspired by the open-air theatricals put on by Archibald Campbell (1846-1913) and Lady Janey Sevilla Campbell (Lady Archibald Campbell) (ca 1846-d.1923). Note in Green and Brown: Orlando at Coombe [YMSM 317] depicts Lady Archie as Orlando in Shakespeare's As You Like It. Although less explicit in its origin than Whistler's painting of Orlando, it is possible that Ariel likewise dates from 1884.
1885/1888: The butterfly signature suggests a slightly wider or later date, possibly between 1885 and 1888.
The exaggerated pose and composition suggest a link with Sketch for 'Annabel Lee' [YMSM 080], which in itself is hard to date, being a reworking of an earlier composition.
Similar colours – pale blue and turquoise, pale green, and yellow ribbons – are similar to those in a pastel of a young woman called Le ruban [M.1381] that has been tentatively dated 1893; but again, it is difficult to date.
Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret