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

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The Bathing Posts, Brittany

The Bathing Posts, Brittany dates from the summer of 1893. 1

The Bathing Posts, Brittany, The Hunterian
The Bathing Posts, Brittany, The Hunterian

In July 1893 Whistler and his wife were touring in Brittany and were not back in Paris until mid-September. On 17 August Whistler, writing from Perros Guirec on the north coast of Brittany, complained to his son, Charles Hanson, that it was too hot for painting: 'I came in the hope of being able to find a picture that might bring money - but the weather has been hopelessly staring bright & hot - So far it is all disappointment.' 2 According to the Pennells, the trip to Brittany in 1893 was 'not altogether a successful journey. Nature had gone back on him, he told me ... the weather was for tourists - the sea for gold-fish in a bowl - the studio was better than staring at a sea of tin.' 3

Despite this, he definitely did paint seascapes in Brittany including Violet and Blue: The Little Bathers, Perros-Guirec [YMSM 382], Violet and Silver: A Deep Sea [YMSM 411], Dark Blue and Silver [YMSM 412], and Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers [YMSM 413].


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 409).

2: [17 August 1893], GUW #02005.

3: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 2, p. 148.

Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret