The Little Lady Edith of Eden may have been started early in 1898. 1 It was probably then that Whistler asked Edith Burkitt (1884-1973) (later Mrs Shaw), one of the daughters of his landlady at 8 Fitzroy Street, to pose for him with ‘an old fashioned sun-bonnet on my head’, but she was taken ill and her older sister posed instead. 2
According to Edith Burkitt (Mrs Shaw), when her sister’s portrait, Rose and Gold: The Little Lady Sophie of Soho [YMSM 504], was completed, probably in May 1899, he started to paint Edith again: ‘I was about 10 yrs old - my sister would have been about 13 yrs of age.' 3 However, Edith was older than this: she would have been fifteen or sixteen when she posed. The portrait was probably painted about September or November 1900 and completed before Whistler went to Corsica at the end of 1900.
Last updated: 8th April 2019 by Margaret