Little Lizzie Willis dates from 1896 or 1897. 1 Whistler painted Lizzie Willis, the daughter of his housekeeper at 8 Fitzroy Street, about 1896, according to Harold Wright (1885-1961), probably on information provided by the artist's sister-in-law, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958). 2 Lizzie is mentioned in Whistler's letters in 1897, when her mother was housekeeper for the artist at 8 Fitzroy Street. 3
In December 1899 Whistler told Miss Birnie Philip to ask the Goupil Gallery in London to send two portraits of Lizzie to him in Paris, 'you had better send over the little Lizzie - there are two - the old black one, and a rather fair one barely begun.' 4 It is likely that this is the 'fair one' and unlikely that he worked on it further.
Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret