The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

'Ma Nièce'

'Ma Nièce'

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1848
Collection: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow
Accession Number: GLAHA 46005
Medium: pencil
Support: off-white wove paper
Size: 2 3/4 x 1 3/4" (69 x 45 mm)
Signature: '(Uncle Jim fecit) / 1848' on verso
Inscription: 'Ma Nièce! . ----------' and see above


'Ma Nièce' dates from shortly after the birth of Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937) on 13 December 1848. 1

'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian
'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian

At Christmas, Whistler's mother Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881) requested 'a sketch of Sisters baby sleeping, at the top of your next letter dear Uncle Jemie.' 2


'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian
'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian



'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian
'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian

Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), daughter of Whistler's half-sister, Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), and Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910).



The head is outlined with broken lines, the main outlines being repeated several times, and reinforced with sharp accents on the baby's features and hand. Soft zigzag lines shade the planes of the head, reinforced with stronger, angular lines above and to right of the head.

'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian
'Ma Nièce', The Hunterian

The drawing was touched up by Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), according to Whistler, and as he told his mother: 'I began a sketch of her which Seymour finished and made really very like her.' 3



See further details in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 21).


It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime.


Catalogues Raisonnés



1: It is catalogued in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 21); the record has been revised.

2: [25 and] 26 December [1848], GUW #06380.

3: J. Whistler to A. M. Whistler, 17, 19 and 20 March 1849, GUW #06390.