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

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A Distant Dome

A Distant Dome dates from between January and April 1901, when Whistler was convalescing in Ajaccio, Corsica. In January he complained about the constraints imposed by his health and the uncertain weather. 1 In March he made some attempts at etching but complained: 'There seems to be no luck in the island here! and every thing I touch goes wrong! I think I had better try no more in the place - and get out of it directly I can - which is not so easy either!' 2 In April, he wrote: 'It has stormed - and frozen & been terrible - and now today - it is simply amazing! 40 - degrees - out of doors in shade.' 3 This painting is likely to date from towards the end of his stay, as the weather became warm enough to paint out of doors.


1: Whistler to R. B. Philip, 30 January 1901, GUW #04788.

2: Whistler to R. B. Philip, [3 April 1901], GUW #04801; see Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné, University of Glasgow, 2012, online at (cat. no. 485).

3: Whistler to R. B. Philip, [3 April 1901], GUW #04801.

Last updated: 2nd November 2020 by Margaret