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

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Study of the Nude


Only one title has been suggested:

  • 'Study of the Nude' (1958, Glasgow) 1
  • 'Study of the Nude' (1980, YMSM). 2


Study of the nude, The Hunterian
Study of the nude, The Hunterian

A nude young woman standing, facing the viewer, depicted in vertical format. She is very slim, with short brown hair, cut in a rough fringe. She has a cap or scarf on her head. She stands against a brown, shadowy background. Alterations and additions have been indicated in white: her raised right hand is clenched as if holding something, her left arm is by her side, and she appears to be holding drapery in her left hand. At right, beside the figure but separate from it, is an unidentified object, possibly a sword, staff, torch, or pedestal, very loosely drawn in crayon.


The model has not been identified. It may have been one of the Pettigrew sisters, possibly Lilian Pettigrew (b. 1870) or Rose Amy Pettigrew (1872-1958). However, if Whistler continued the painting in Paris, it was presumably from a French model.


1: Rosalind Birnie Philip, list for probate, Glasgow, 1958.

2: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 493).

Last updated: 9th April 2021 by Margaret