The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 012
Copy after Mignard's 'La Vierge à la grappe'

Copy after Mignard's 'La Vierge à la grappe'

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1857
Collection: Whereabouts Unknown
Accession Number: none
Medium: oil
Support: unknown
Size: unknown
Signature: unknown
Inscription: unknown
Frame: unknown

Date

Whistler's Copy after Mignard's 'La Vierge à la grappe' dates from 1857. 1

On 28 February 1857 Whistler was granted permission to copy La Vierge à la grappe by Pierre Mignard (1612-1695) (Musée du Louvre). 2 It is likely therefore that it was copied in March 1857.

Images

Copy after Mignard's 'La Vierge à la grappe', Whereabouts unknown
Copy after Mignard's 'La Vierge à la grappe', Whereabouts unknown

P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Musée du Louvre
P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Musée du Louvre

Subject

Titles

Only one title is recorded :

Description

Whistler's copy has not been located but it is likely to have followed closely in size and composition the original painting, La Vierge à la grappe (1640) by Pierre Mignard (1612-1695) (121 x 94 cm, 48 x 37"; Musée du Louvre, Inv. 663), which was painted in Rome about 1640/1650. It was a popular painting, showing Italian influence.

P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Louvre
P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Louvre

Mignard's painting shows the Virgin Mary in red dress and blue robe, seated, with the quite large baby Jesus sitting on a cushion on her lap. A scarf covers her head and that of the child, who holds the scarf up to right. There is a basket of fruit on a table at left, and she holds a bunch of grapes, on which the baby rests his other hand. There is a dark background, with a narrow glimpse through a curtain at right to a cloudy sky and landscape.

Technique

Composition

P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Louvre
P. Mignard, La Vierge à la grappe, Louvre

Whistler's copy may not have shown the entire composition of Mignard's painting, but presumably showed the two main figures exactly.

Technique

Nothing is known about the technique.

Conservation History

Unknown.

Frame

Unknown.

History

Provenance

According to Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), who was with Whistler in Paris in the late 1850s, Whistler was commissioned to paint copies after Jean Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) and Thomas Couture (1815-1879) (Copy after Ingres's 'Roger délivrant Angélique' y011, Copy after a Group in Couture's 'Romains de la décadence' y018) and then 'two more pictures' in the Louvre collections chosen by his patron, whom Armstrong described as 'a whaling captain'. The copy of Mignard's painting may have been one of these (see also Copy after Greuze's 'La Cruche cassée' y014, and Copy after 'La Réunion des cavaliers', of the School of Velázquez y019).

However, at least one painting was commissioned by William Richard ('Dick') Suydam Palmer (1834-1870). 4

Exhibitions

No exhibition is recorded.

Bibliography

Catalogues Raisonnés

Authored by Whistler

Catalogues 1855-1905

Journals 1855-1905

Monographs

Books on Whistler

Books, General

Catalogues 1906-Present

Journals 1906-Present

Websites

On Mignard:

Unpublished

Other


Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 12).

2: Autorisations Données à des Copistes: Ecoles Françaises et Flamandes, 1851-1871, Archives du Louvre, LL22; Flem1978 [more], p. 134.

3: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 12).

4: Lamont 1912 [more], pp. 178-79.