The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 031
Portrait of a big Englishman

Portrait of a big Englishman

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1860
Collection: Whereabouts unknown
Accession Number: none
Medium: oil
Support: unknown
Size: unknown
Signature: unknown
Inscription: unknown
Frame: unknown

Date

Portrait of a big Englishman may date from 1860. 1

The sculptor Charles L. Drouet (1836-1908) told the Pennells in 1900 that Whistler painted the portrait of 'a big Englishman who was copying a picture of Angelica Kauffmann's in the Louvre', but Drouet did not know what became of it. 2

Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807) was a popular artist, much copied in the 19th century. La baronne de Krüdener, et son fils Paul was acquired by the Louvre in 1860: if this was the painting being copied, then Whistler's portrait may date from the same year.

Images

Portrait of a big Englishman, Whereabouts unknown
Portrait of a big Englishman, Whereabouts unknown

Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, Private collection
Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, Private collection

Subject

Titles

Only one title has been suggested:

Description

The portrait of a man.

Sitter

The sitter has not been identified.

Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, Private collection
Portrait of Luke A. Ionides, Private collection

Whistler painted Lucas (Luke) Alexander Ionides (1837-1924), who was quite a sturdy young man: it is just possible this refers to him. Also, Portrait of Luke A. Ionides y032 dates from 1860, which would match the acquisition of Kauffmann's painting by the Louvre. However, Whistler had ceased to copy in the Louvre by 1860, which is why it is generally assumed that the 'big Englishman' was painted while Whistler was a student himself, probably between 1856 and 1858. The story as related by Drouet could be wrong in detail or entirely apocryphal.

Technique

Technique

Nothing is known about the technique.

Conservation History

Unknown: it may not have been completed.

Frame

Unknown.

History

Provenance

Unknown.

Exhibitions

It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime.

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 Angelica Kauffmann:

Unpublished

Other


Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 31).

2: Pennell 1921C [more], p. 93.

3: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 31).