The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 034
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1860-1861
Collection: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Accession Number: F1917.234a-b
Medium: oil
Support: canvas
Size: 95.5 x 70.8 cm (37 5/8 x 27 7/8")
Signature: none
Inscription: none
Frame: Grau-style, possibly American, after 1894

Date

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room dates from between 1860 and 1861. 1

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

1860: One of the sitters, Whistler's niece Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), recalled (many years later) that the date of 'The Morning Call' (as it was then called) 'must have been in '60 or '61, after his return from Paris.' 2

1861: George du Maurier (1834-1896) wrote to Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), that Whistler had just painted out 'Annie's head', because the artist Frederick Leighton (1830-1896) 'told him it was out of harmony, and the last time I saw him he was in complete despair, couldn't put it in again – hope it's all right now. He's got deuced little time.' 3 This suggests Whistler tried, but failed, to complete it for submission to the Royal Academy exhibition in May 1861. He, or his half-sister Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), must have reported in late May or early June that the painting had been completed, because in July Whistler's mother, Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), wrote from America, 'how it cheered me to hear of the fortnights painting in the Music room, at Sloan St [sic] to finish my picture.' 4

Images

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, frame detail
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, frame detail

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room,  photograph, 1892, Goupil Album, GUL Whistler PH5/1
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, photograph, 1892, Goupil Album, GUL Whistler PH5/1

Annie, Seated, etching, Freer Gallery of Art, 1898.246 (G32 2/3)
Annie, Seated, etching, Freer Gallery of Art, 1898.246 (G32 2/3)

Annie Haden, whereabouts unknown (photograph, Library of Congress)
Annie Haden, whereabouts unknown (photograph, Library of Congress)

At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati
At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati

Henry Wolf, "The Music Room", after Whistler, woodcut, 1909, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Henry Wolf, "The Music Room", after Whistler, woodcut, 1909, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Chôbunsai Eishi, Teahouse near Fields, ca 1790, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Chôbunsai Eishi, Teahouse near Fields, ca 1790, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hosoda Eishi, A Modern Version of the Concert of Ushiwakamaru and Jôruri-hime, 1797-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hosoda Eishi, A Modern Version of the Concert of Ushiwakamaru and Jôruri-hime, 1797-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston, 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6-13
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston, 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6-13

Subject

Titles

Several possible titles have been suggested:

'Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room', based on the 1892 and 1980 titles, is generally accepted.

Description

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

A figure composition in vertical format. At left is a mirror in which a dark haired woman, wearing a grey dress with a white collar, is seen leaning forward in three-quarter view to right. On the wall above her (as seen in the mirror) is a small framed print. On the shelf below the mirror stands an ornate painted white china vase with a pink lid and twirly handles.

Beyond the mirror, either side of an unseen window, there are floor length curtains decorated with sprigs of green leaves and flowers in shades of red from pink to purple. The light from the window shines to right, onto a young girl in white sitting reading a book and facing slightly to left. Her dress has a high neck and long sleeves, and the full skirt falls well below her knees; her legs are clad in white stockings and black shoes.

Above the child, on the far wall, is a lamp with a white glass shade and silver fitments. Above it is a gold framed drawing or print showing the bent head of a woman in profile to left, and, to right of that, the bottom of another small gold picture frame. The wall is cream with a pale green dado trimmed in gold, with a round gilt bell at right.

At front right is a woman in a black riding dress and black hat, standing and facing right, with her face in three-quarter view to right. It is implied that this black-clad woman is talking to the woman seen in the mirror, who is actually sitting out of the picture, to right. She has a white flower in her black bonnet, white collar, cuffs and gloves. Her right hand, hanging at her side, is gloved and holds the other glove. Her left arm is raised, resting on a shoulder-height screen or stand of some sort, from which hangs a length of cloth in similar colours to the curtains, but with a smaller pattern; it has a lace fringe or band around the top.

Site

Whistler's niece, Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), who was one of the sitters, told the Pennells that the picture was painted in the music room at 62 Sloane Street, the home of her parents, Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908) and Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910). She added that the room still existed, 'though the present owners have enlarged it.' 13

At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati
At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati

Whistler had already painted both Annie and Deborah Haden in the music room, in At the Piano y024; the colouring of the wall, in cream and green, is identical in both paintings. He also etched the room, but without Annie, in The Music Room [39].

Sitter

THE GIRL: Whistler's niece, Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), posed at 62 Sloane Street, the home of her parents. She is shown sitting reading.

Annie, Seated, etching, Freer Gallery of Art, 1898.246 (G32 2/3)
Annie, Seated, etching, Freer Gallery of Art, 1898.246 (G32 2/3)

Annie's appearance is similar to that seen in an etching made a year earlier, between December 1859 and early 1860, Annie, Seated [32]. An impression of this that was kept by her father, Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), is reproduced above.

Mrs Thynne (Annie Haden) told the Pennells:

'I was very young at the time of the music-room pictures being painted, and beyond the fact of not minding sitting, in spite of the interminable length of time, I do not know that I can say more. It was a distinctly amusing time for me. He was always so delightful and enjoyed the 'no lessons' as much as I did. One day in The Morning Call ... picture, I did get tired without knowing it, and suddenly dissolved into tears, whereupon he was full of the most tender remorse, and rushed out and bought me a lovely Russia leather writing set, which I am using at this very moment ! ... It was then he gave me the pencil sketches I lent to the London Memorial Exhibition. I had kept them in an album he had also brought me from Paris, with my name in gold, stamped outside, of which I was very proud. We were always good friends, and I have nothing all through those early days but the most delightful remembrance of him.' 14

Annie Haden, whereabouts unknown (photograph, Library of Congress)
Annie Haden, whereabouts unknown (photograph, Library of Congress)

The sketches that Whistler gave to Annie mostly date from 1858 and include a portrait of her in a slightly shorter skirt, Annie Haden m0219, reproduced above. 15 It is possible that her memory was incorrect and that the gift dated from an earlier session, when she was posing for At the Piano y024 for instance.

At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati
At the Piano, Taft Museum, Cincinnati

THE SEATED WOMAN: Annie's mother, Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), is reflected in the mirror. It has been suggested that she was playing the piano, but she looks more as if she is just having a conversation with the woman in riding dress. She posed many times for Whistler: she is seen playing music in At the Piano y024 and with a book in Reading by Lamplight [37].

THE WOMAN IN RIDING DRESS: Isabella Mary Anne Grant Boott (1831/32-1892). 16 Isabella ('Belle') was the daughter of Francis Boott, an American doctor who had settled in England, and his wife Mary Hardcastle; their family included Mary, John, Francis H., Kirk, Lucy A., and Elizabeth R. Boott. At the time of the 1861 census Isabella was staying with her brother Francis in Worcestershire. Her father died in London two years later. By 1871 she was working as an accountant and living comfortably in Gower Street, London, with her married sister Mary, a cook and a housekeeper. She did not marry. She died on 6 June 1892 in Lyons, France. 17

Miss Boott was, according to the Pennells, 'a connection of the Hadens by marriage.' 18 Deborah Haden's husband, Francis Seymour Haden, was the son of Emma and Charles Thomas Haden (1786-1824). His brother, Charles Sydenham Haden (1822-1898), a London merchant and collector, married Isabella's sister Mary Love Boott. 19 Thus Isabella was the sister of the sister-in-law of Whistler's half-sister.

Comments

JAPONISME: Charles Henry Caffin (1854-1918) asserted that it was influenced by Japanese prints, specifically a print by Utamaro. 20 Léonce Bénédite (1859-1925) also believed that this painting showed that Whistler was already aware of Japanese art, a supposition which has since been disputed, particularly by Sandberg. 21 Toshio Watanabe, on the other hand, suggested that the arched back of the equestrian, 'the position and the silhouette effect of the hand, the sweeping line and the elegance of the figure' resemble a woodcut of the geisha Itsuhana from the series Seirou geisha sen (Selected Geishas from the Pleasure Quarters) by Chobunsai Eishi (1756-1829), a pupil of Torrii Kiyonaga (1752-1815) and rival of Utamaro. 22

Chôbunsai Eishi, Teahouse near Fields, ca 1790, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Chôbunsai Eishi, Teahouse near Fields, ca 1790, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hosoda Eishi, A Modern Version of the Concert of Ushiwakamaru and Jôruri-hime, 1797-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hosoda Eishi, A Modern Version of the Concert of Ushiwakamaru and Jôruri-hime, 1797-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Whistler's woman in her black riding dress, and indeed the whole composition, resembles the interaction of gracefully turning figures in triptych prints by Eishi and others: in fact, it most resembles a panel from the left of a triptych (or diptych), that would be explained and completed if a further panel was added to the right. 23

INFLUENCES: Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913) described it as 'a picture which has inspired some members of the New English Art Club more perhaps than any other work of our day', adding: 'The painting of the accessories – the green shaded lamp over the girl's head, the chintz curtains, the porcelain vase reflected in the mirror – is of the most marvellous brilliance, and the whole picture is pitched in the highest possible key of colour.' 24 This is surprising, since it had rarely been exhibited. And the lamp, in fact, has a white shade, so it was clearly not very familiar to the writers.

The Pennells commented on links with Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904):

'the influence of the Louvre and Courbet is evident. ... Fantin could not have been more conscientious in rendering the life about him exactly as he found it than Whistler was in The Music Room; only, the room in the London house, with its gay chintz curtains and draperies, has none of the sombre simplicity of the interior where Fantin's sisters sit with their embroidery and books. Fantin's home gave him an austerity he knew how to make beautiful; to Whistler, the Hadens' house gave colour.' 25

Curry suggested that the 1833 lithograph Laure by Paul Gavarni (1804-1866) was perhaps the source of the pose of Annie Haden, and that the dress of Miss Boott would have been immediately recognised as the riding dress of a fashionable 'Amazone' with its association with dandyism. 26

Others, Linda Merrill among them, see in the painting the influence of Dutch painting. 27 Perhaps Whistler himself was aware of this influence, when he described it in 1892 as 'quite primitive - but such sunshine! none of the Dutchmen to compare with it - and such colour!' 28

Technique

Composition

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

X-rays of the painting show alterations to Miss Boott's hat, to Annie's head, skirt and feet, to the dado on the left and the curtain on the right. It is possible that the figure of Deborah Haden, as reflected in the mirror, was a late addition; there are signs of alterations at both the back and front of her neck, and around her hair. Behind her, the cream-coloured area that is roughly covered in vertical stripes (possibly a fireplace) seems to have been painted over a pattern like that of the long curtains to left of centre. Whistler's first intention may have been to reflect, in the mirror, the curtain that Miss Boott is holding (her hand was originally further left).

The Freer website commented, that 'Instead of trying to create a convincing illusion of three-dimensional space, Whistler adopted a color scheme and sharply angled perspective that emphasize the flatness of the picture plane.'

' 29

Technique

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

Overall, it was painted with fairly thick paint, applied with both brush and palette knife. Certain areas were painted carefully and with a high level of finish – the lamp over Annie's head, for instance. Others were brought to a softer, or drier, blurred finish, including the heads, hair and hat. Some large areas including the dresses and curtains, started carefully, were finished off with broad, slashing strokes of creamier paint. The paint surface is complex and textured, due to the variety of brush or knife strokes and to numerous revisions and alterations.

Conservation History

According to Bernhard Sickert (1862-1932), parts of the painting were 'badly cracked, probably from repainting' by 1905. 30

At the Freer Gallery of Art, it was cleaned, relined and resurfaced in 1921, resurfaced in 1931, and cleaned and surfaced in 1935 and 1945. The varnish was removed where it had whitened, and the painting partially cleaned, inpainted and revarnished in 1965, when it was also restretched on a new stretcher.

Condition

Some of the thickly painted and altered areas have some craquelure. The colours, however, are fresh and vivid.

Frame

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, frame detail
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, frame detail

In preparation for the Goupil exhibition in 1892 the frame, possibly the original frame, had 'nothing done' to it. 31 The style and whereabouts of this early frame are unknown.

The current frame is in the Grau-style, and could date from the sale of the painting in 1894, or have been made in America between 1899 and 1917, when it was given to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919). 32

History

Provenance

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, Freer Gallery of Art

The family and the painting were unusually well-travelled. The painting was given by Whistler to his mother and by her to Julia de Kay Whistler (1825-1875). 33 She was the second wife of Whistler's older step-brother, George William Whistler (1822-1869), and several years after his premature death in Brighton in 1969, the painting was taken to Baltimore. It was bequeathed to her daughter, also named Julia, when she died in 1875. The Baltimore Bulletin described it as 'a portrait of a lady in riding habit, a picture containing some remarkable color and curious idiosyncrasies of drawing', then 'in the possession of the children of his sister-in-law, the late estimable Mrs Whistler, who died recently at the summer residence of her brother, Mr Thomas Winans, at Newport.' 34

The new owner, young Julia de Kay Whistler Revillon (1855-1930) married Albert Charles Revillon (ca 1846-d. 1915) in Baltimore on 30 May 1885. The picture accompanied them to St Petersburg, but Julia agreed to lend it to Whistler's major retrospective, Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 12). As soon as the painting was on its way from St Petersburg to London, it became clear that Julia Revillon was eager to sell it:

'I am tempted to sell the "Music Room" considering what a swell you are & what high prices your pictures fetch. I telegraphed Boussod that they might ask 800 guineas for it, but hearing from him that they could not sell for that price, I telegraphed both you & him, to consult on the price ... I am very fond of the "Music Room" & shant feel like parting with it unless I get a very good price for it ... that is why I wish to know from you (knowing as you do the London public) what I can safely ask.' 35

Someone (not named) wanted to buy it, as Thomson told Whistler:

'A serious business question. One man wants to know if £400 or £450 would buy Madame Reveillons [sic] 'Music Room.' We wired to her & she replies consult you. Will you kindly think over the matter for her & say what your idea is. Our man will not pay more than £450 we fear.' 36

Whistler, writing to Thomson from Paris, was conspicuously indignant, partly because he feared the prospective purchaser might be Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910):

'Reveillon - Proposed price perfectly absurd - I have a notion who is impudent enough to offer it - Send me details - In these matters you must be entirely with me -

I shall write to Mme. Reveillon, and mean time you must say to purchaser that his proposal wouldn't be listened to - That the price is more like a thousand guineas - Who is the man? Is it Seymour Haden? - You see it would be ruinous that such prices should get about - in the midst of the ones I am asking myself - Moreover the only interest the Goupil House can have is in the good prices of Whistler works - not in the selling, for small sums, a picture or two, from one owner to another!' 37

Thomson declared that the prospective purchaser was a Scottish art dealer: "Mr Lawrie of Glasgow ... wants to have it 'on spec' he says, but it may be he has a Scotch or Canadian buyer. Whatever price you [think?] we shall wire to St Petersburg for confirmation & approval & then wire Lawrie." 38 Lawrie then backed out, as Thomson reported:

'Lawrie of Glasgow ... wanted to buy a picture by you - any one - for about that price - We do not think he had any special buyer & now he declares he is off it altogether. We quite understand the advantage to you & to ourselves of keeping up the prices & this has been our aim all along. At the same time if we sell to a dealer who will himself sell at a profit it could not be to the hurt of either. If Lawrie buys for £450 he wont sell under £600.' 39

However, Whistler insisted on at least 800 gns: 'The great point is not the changing of ownership of these pictures - which is scarcely interesting to me - but to confirm, by every transaction, my large prices.' 40 At that price, no one was interested. Instead, in January 1894, Mme Revillon asked Thomson to send the picture to Messrs Christie, Manson & Woods. 41 Whistler was worried about the auction, and hoped that Thomson would attend the sale and keep the price up: 'It ought certainly not to be allowed to fall flat - However it is about the last of that lot - thank the Lord! - They are very nearly all out of the country now - those "Whistler's".' 42 It was sold at auction at Christie's on 10 February 1894 (lot 69), and bought (according to an illegibly annotated catalogue) for £199.10.0, or, according to D. C. Thomson, by a Glasgow art dealer, William Paterson (1859-1952), for over £200. In any case, the result was disappointing, as Thomson reported:

'The Music Room has been sold today for a little over £200, we were willing to give that amount & we had arranged accordingly but it went one bid over that to a Glasgow dealer called Paterson ... The bidding was very very slow & only Paterson was in the field against it. As we have written to Mdm Revillon today, since the sale, we could have got far more for her, but her lowest price was always 500 guineas & she would not hear of any reduction even although we telegraphed one day for it. As she sent it to Christies against our wish, there was no reason why we should support her further than what was an amazing bargain.' 43

Basically, Whistler was annoyed with everyone concerned, berating Thomson:

'Fancy going to a public sale at all - with less than 200 in your pocket, and letting a country dealer carry off the last Whistler in the market under your very nose at what you say yourself is an amazing bargain, ... I wish I could have gone into the thing myself - and I really did think that you would have told me exactly what your intentions were - & that I should have had time to manage something - As to the Reveillons, I am glad that they got nothing and lost their better chance.' 44

Presumably both the Whistlers and Revillons were not pleased. 'It was perfectly idiotic everyone says to have put it in Christies!' wrote Whistler's wife to her sister-in-law. 45 And Whistler himself wrote a cutting letter to Julia Revillon:

'My dear Julia - Accept my felicitations! - You have done well - though Mr. T - of Goupils tells me you might have done better - But ... He has no idea - as yet - that the picture, over which you bargained, and haggled, and which you finally sent to public auction, was a gift from my Mother to your own!

... I may congratulate you upon having so completely freed yourself from ridiculous and conventional theories that hinder the less daring, and frequently prevent their turning into money ... heirlooms & family follies of that kind!' 46

At the same time, he had still not finished complaining to Thomson:

'[Y]ou let the "Music Room" go under your nose for five or six pounds over some miserable price to which you were limited - thereby showing a vacilating [sic] state of mind as to your intentions own faith in the real worth of the very picture for which you had yourselves been asking a thousand only a week or two before!! - Whereby the Goupils do me in the market (the only place where they could affect me at all) as much harm as they possibly can!' 47

Henry Wolf, "The Music Room", after Whistler, woodcut, 1909, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Henry Wolf, "The Music Room", after Whistler, woodcut, 1909, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

After this its provenance is straightforward, except that it is not known exactly when Hecker acquired it. He owned it by 1899, and it was reproduced as in his collection in 1909, before he generously gave it to C. L. Freer. 48

Exhibitions

Having failed to meet the deadline for the Royal Academy in 1861, Whistler toyed with the idea of sending it to another major exhibition in 1864, and mentioned to Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) that he thought of sending 'le tableau avec l'amazone' to the Salon. 49 However, this did not happen.

After that the painting moved to America, where its first exhibition was at the Academy Charity Exhibition, Academy of Music, Baltimore, March 1876 as 'Portrait of a Lady and Child'. 50 It was a much-traveled painting, having first joined the Winans family in Baltimore and then travelling with Whistler's niece Neva to Russia: it was one of the few Whistler paintings to spend a significant time in Russia.

A small sketch of the painting, on the verso of an unrelated letter dating from 1881, suggests Whistler was considering borrowing it for a show at that time, but if so, this did not happen. 51 The painting does not seem to have been exhibited at all in Europe until 1892, when the artist listed 'Music Room' among pictures suitable for exhibition. 52 Whistler urged D. C. Thomson, manager of the Goupil Gallery in London, 'Write to Madame Reveillon. 43. Galernaia. St. Petersbourg - Russia - and borrow her picture of "The Music Room" - by me - I shall write also.' 53 By 1 March it was on its way from St Petersburg to London. 54 When Whistler saw it again at the Goupil Gallery, he described it to his wife Beatrice Philip (Mrs E. W. Godwin, Mrs J. McN. Whistler) (1857-1896) as 'quite primitive - but such sunshine! ... such colour!' 55 Unsurprisingly, the review (from Merrie England) which he selected as a commentary on The Music Room in the Goupil catalogue of 1892 was a sweeping statement that Whistler 'far from enjoying primary hues, has little or no perception of the loveliness of secondary or tertiary colour', a statement that the picture obviously refuted. 56 D. C. Thomson described the hanging of the rooms to Beatrice Whistler:

'The smaller gallery has mostly the smaller pictures & the effect of this salon is a contrast to the other, more gay perhaps & more easily understanded [sic] of the people, - equally triumphant in its result. The Japanese Screen is here & the Music Room & the Little White Girl & many of the wondrous nocturnes & one's [sic] feels glad to live & be able to enjoy such beautiful things.' 57

Newspapers were ambivalent in their reception. 'For ugliness and cleverness together, the "Music Room" could hardly be surpassed', wrote the Pall Mall Gazette, but the York Herald described it as 'much admired'. 58 The Glasgow Herald on 19 March associated it, not unflatteringly, with the Pre-Raphaelites. The London correspondent of the Leeds Mercury was bothered by the standing figure, commenting that 'its black lady, cut out and fixed in a room in which Japanese perspective reigns, is beyond us'. 59

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, 1892, Goupil Album, GUL Whistler PH5/1
Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room, 1892, Goupil Album, GUL Whistler PH5/1

At the same time Whistler was concerned with the effect of the photograph taken for inclusion in the Album of his work published by the Goupil Gallery. He wrote to D. C. Thomson, suggesting the picture be re-photographed and printed smaller: 'It is an early work & comes out too hard.' 60 In fact it seems he would have preferred Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor y100 included in the Album, instead of either this painting or Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks y047. 61

In 1899, Colonel Hecker lent the painting to a show in Philadelphia, and the Director, Harrison S. Morris (1856-1948), sent Whistler some press cuttings:

'In remembrance of the morning call which you did me the honor to accept several years ago, and on behalf of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts which you were then good enough to express some kindly sentiments for, I venture to enclose a cluster of clippings from American papers about our current Annual Exhibition in which your "Music Room" belonging to Colonel Hecker of Detroit, is the central work.' 62

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6-13
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6-13

Freer lent the painting to the 1904 exhibition in Boston, where it appears on the far wall at right in the photograph reproduced above. However, the travels of the painting are now over. By the terms of C. L. Freer's bequest to the Freer Gallery of Art, the painting cannot be lent.

Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room was one of the paintings seen by Antonin Proust (1832-1905) at the Whistler memorial exhibition in Paris in 1905, and praised in a letter to his mother. 63 Proust had met Whistler once, probably through Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921). In 1906 Proust started to write À la recherche du temps perdu in which the character 'Elstir' was in part inspired by Whistler.

Bibliography

Catalogues Raisonnés

Authored by Whistler

Catalogues 1855-1905

Newspapers 1855-1905

Journals 1855-1905

Monographs

Books on Whistler

Books, General

Catalogues 1906-Present

COLLECTION:

EXHIBITION:

SALE:

Journals 1906-Present

Websites

Unpublished

Other


Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 34).

2: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, pp. 89-90.

3: Du Maurier 1951 [more], p. 26.

4: A. M. Whistler to Whistler, [15/31 July 1861], GUW #06512.

5: Whistler to H. Fantin-Latour, 3 February 1864, GUW #08036.

6: Academy Charity Exhibition, Academy of Music, Baltimore, March 1876 (cat. no. 47).

7: 'Art Notes', Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser, 18 March 1876, GUL Whistler PC 1/73.

8: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 12).

9: Colnaghi's records, 26 July 1894.

10: Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (cat. no. 102).

11: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 90.

12: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 34).

13: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, pp. 89-91.

14: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, pp. 89-90.

15: The sketches that Annie Haden kept in an album include Bains à Dieppe m0220, A Woman in a tall bonnet and a man in a top hat m0221, Maison, Rue Orbe m0224, Rue des Matelots m0225, Three women at a door m0227, La Courtisane des Étudiants, Heidelberg m0249, Man in a peaked cap m0263, and Sailor seated m0264, and were drawn between 1855 and 1858.

16: Fleming states that she was a niece of Kirk Boott, the founder of Lowell, Massachusetts ( Flem1978 [more], p. 161). Whistler's younger brother Kirk (who died early) also had the name Boott, which might imply a link between the Whistlers and Francis Boott of Lowell and his family. But since they lived in Lowell for some years, the name might merely have been a token of respect.

17: The surname was spelled in various documents as Boot, Boott, Boat, and Burth. UK census 1861, 1871.

18: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 89.

19: A letter from Daria Haden to Joseph Whistler Revillon (1886-1955), 10 July 1945, mentions Charles Haden, 'Rosie Boot', 'Belle' and 'Mary Boot' and gives family background information, GUL MS Revillon 3/162; see also J. W. Revillon to F. W. Coburn, 22 August 1945, MS Revillon 2/6; UK census 1861, 1871, and family trees in Wikitree at http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Boott-26.

20: Caffin 1903 [more].

21: Bénédite 1905 A [more], in vol. 33 at pp. 506-07. Sandberg 1964 [more], at p. 503.

22: Watanabe 1991 [more]; see Itsuhana, Ukiyo website at https://ukiyo-e.org (acc. 2020).

23: For example, Chôbunsai Eishi, Teahouse near Fields, ca 1790, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 21.7553-5, website; and Hosoda Eishi, A Modern Version of the Concert of Ushiwakamaru and Jôruri-hime, 1797-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website at https://ukiyo-e.org.

24: Way & Dennis 1903 [more], p. 23.

25: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, pp. 89-90.

26: Curry 1984 [more], p. 102, pl. 3. Curry illustrates a watercolour by Paul Gavarni (1804-1866), Amazone, 1830, and a photograph by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon alias Nadar (1820-1910) of Mlle Jenny in Costume of an Amazone. See also MacDonald 2003 [more], pp. 122-23.

27: Merrill 1998 [more], p. 54.

28: J. McN. Whistler to B. Whistler, [14 March 1892], GUW #06613.

29: Freer Gallery of Art website at https://asia.si.edu/object/F1917.234a-b.

30: B. Sickert 1908 A [more], p. 10.

31: Goupil Gallery to Whistler, 20 May 1892, GUW #05740.

32: Dr Sarah L. Parkerson Day, Report on frames, 2017; see also Parkerson 2007 [more].

33: Whistler to Julia Revillon, [23/24] February 1894, GUW #02679.

34: Baltimore Bulletin, 27 November 1875; press cutting in GUL Whistler PC 2/29.

35: Julia Revillon to Whistler, 13 and 25 March [1892], GUW #05175.

36: 23 March 1892, GUW #05706.

37: [25 March 1892], GUW #08354.

38: 25 March 1892, GUW #05707.

39: 26 March 1892, GUW #05708.

40: [29 March 1892], GUW #08355.

41: Thomson to Whistler, 6 January 1894, GUW #05800.

42: Whistler to Thomson, GUW #08281.

43: 10 February 1894, GUW #05802. See also Whistler to A. Reid, 4 March [1894], GUW #03213.

44: [12 February 1894], GUW #08278.

45: B. Whistler to H. E. Whistler, [22/30 February 1894], GUW #06622.

46: [23/24] February 1894, GUW #02679.

47: [18 March 1894], GUW #08272. See Petri 2011 [more], pp. 542-44.

48: Howard 1909 [more].

49: Whistler to Fantin-Latour, 3 February 1864, GUW #08036.

50: Press cutting in GUL Whistler PC 1/73.

51: H. Faraday to T. Way, 12 March 1881, GUW #13354; drawing, Sir Henry Cole, and a list of pictures m0839.

52: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [4/11 January 1892], GUW #06795.

53: [20 February 1892], GUW #08219.

54: 1 March 1892, GUW #05692.

55: [14 March 1892], GUW #06613.

56: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 12).

57: 19 March 1892, GUW #05705.

58: 'The Whistler Show', Pall Mall Gazette, 19 March 1892, p. 2; 'London Letter', York Herald, 21 March 1892, p. 4.

59: 'Mr Whistler's Exhibition', Leeds Mercury, Leeds, 23 March 1892, p. 8.

60: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, 2 May 1892, GUW #08205.

61: [5 May 1893], GUW #08229; Thomson to Whistler, 9 May 1893, GUW #05777.

62: H. S. Morris to Whistler, 10 February 1899, GUW #04625.

63: [13 or 14 June 1905], quoted by Painter, George D. (ed.), Marcel Proust – Letters to his mother, London, 1956.