The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 052
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1864
Collection: Tate Britain, London
Accession Number: N03418
Medium: oil
Support: canvas
Size: 76.5 x 51.1 cm (30 1/8 x 20 1/8")
Signature: 'Whistler.'
Inscription: originally dated '1864'
Frame: Grau-style, after 1892, modified ca 1919 [16.8 cm]

Date

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl dates from 1864. 1

1863: In March Whistler moved to 7 Lindsey Row, which is the setting for Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl y052.

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894

1864: The portrait was originally signed and dated '1864'. The photograph of Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl by Hanfstaengl, Munich, reproduced above, and reproductions in the Art Journal (1894 and 1900), Mir Iskusstva (1903), and by Muther (1894), show the date ‘1864’ after the signature. 2

On or before Derby Day (25 May 1864) Whistler told Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890), 'I have varnished the little White Girl.' 3

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911,
f.p. 124
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911, f.p. 124

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

1865: It was exhibited at the 97th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1865 (cat. no. 530) as 'The Little White Girl'.

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain

1900: After incurring some minor damage, the painting was retouched by Whistler in Paris. 4 The date, originally painted at upper right, was removed at some time, possibly ̶ as suggested by the Pennells ̶ in 1900, when Whistler was working on the painting. 5

Images

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911,
f.p. 124
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911, f.p. 124

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, Goupil Album 1892, GUL Whistler PH5/2
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, Goupil Album 1892, GUL Whistler PH5/2

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, before 1903, Мир искусства [Mir Iskusstva, 'World of Art'], vol. 9, no. 7–8, 1903, repr. p. 62
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, before 1903, Мир искусства [Mir Iskusstva, 'World of Art'], vol. 9, no. 7–8, 1903, repr. p. 62

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame

Utagawa Hiroshige, The Banks of the Sumida River, 1857, woodblock print, Victoria & Albert Museum,  E.12087-1886
Utagawa Hiroshige, The Banks of the Sumida River, 1857, woodblock print, Victoria & Albert Museum, E.12087-1886

Interior of Whistler's house, Lindsey Row, Pennell 1921, f.p. 152
Interior of Whistler's house, Lindsey Row, Pennell 1921, f.p. 152

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, frame detail
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, frame detail

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/10
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/10

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24

Dress, ca 1864, Museum of the City of New York, 47.83.1ab
Dress, ca 1864, Museum of the City of New York, 47.83.1ab

'Punch's Advice to Ladies', Punch, 21 February 1863, repr. p. 73
'Punch's Advice to Ladies', Punch, 21 February 1863, repr. p. 73

J. D. Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville, The Frick Collection
J. D. Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville, The Frick Collection

J. E. Millais, Before the Mirror, 1861, from Laver, James, A History of British and American Etching, 1929
J. E. Millais, Before the Mirror, 1861, from Laver, James, A History of British and American Etching, 1929

E. J. Poynter, The bunch of Blue Ribbons, 1862, private collection
E. J. Poynter, The bunch of Blue Ribbons, 1862, private collection

Subject

Titles

Several possible titles have been suggested:

The 'White Girls' were given their numbering retrospectively. After the third one went to exhibition as Symphony in White, No. 3 y061 in 1867, the 'Little White Girl' was given the additional title of Symphony in White, No. 2, emphasising the importance of reading the picture as an arrangement of colours. The first picture in the series, The White Girl, became known as Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl y038.

Description

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain

A three-quarter length portrait of a woman standing in profile to right, in vertical format. She has dark red hair, and wears a round-necked white dress with long sleeves. She is leaning with her left arm along a white mantlepiece, and her face is reflected in the mirror above it. Her right arm hangs down, holding a colourful Asian fan. There is a small red bowl and a larger blue and white Chinese vase on the mantlepiece. Pink and lilac azaleas appear at lower right. In the mirror, paintings on the opposite wall are reflected.

Utagawa Hiroshige, The Banks of the Sumida River, 1857, woodblock print, Victoria & Albert Museum,  E.12087-1886
Utagawa Hiroshige, The Banks of the Sumida River, 1857, woodblock print, Victoria & Albert Museum, E.12087-1886

The Asian fan or hand-screen was decorated with a woodcut by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858), The Banks of the Sumida River from the set of Famous Places in the Eastern Capital. 16 Dating from 1857, it shows a boat with a sail billowing in the wind, on a broad river of deep blue and green. In the distance are two more boats with rectangular sails and, on the left, several barges. 17

Site

The Pennells commented on the studio surroundings:

'Japan is in the detail of blue and white on the mantel ; the girl holds a Japanese fan ; a spray of azalea trails across her dress. But these were part of Whistler's house, part of the reality he had created for himself, and he made them no more beautiful than the mantel, the grate of the English house, than the reflection in the mirror.' 18

Interior of Whistler's house, Lindsey Row, Pennell 1921
Interior of Whistler's house, Lindsey Row, Pennell 1921

The mirror and mantlepiece against which the model is said to have posed are shown in a photograph of the interior of Whistler's house in Lindsey Row, reproduced by the Pennells. 19 It is not absolutely certain that they identified the room correctly.

Sitter

Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843-d.1886), Whistler's partner and chief model for several of his major works including Wapping y035.

Dress, ca 1864, Museum of the City of New York, 47.83.1ab
Dress, ca 1864, Museum of the City of New York, 47.83.1ab

An American bleached cotton tarlatan dress of ca 1864, reproduced above, is similar to the fine muslin dress in Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl y052. 20

She wears a similar dress in several paintings including Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl y038, The Artist's Studio y062, and The Artist in his Studio (Whistler in his Studio) y063. 21

Comments

On 26 January 1885 Francis Short (1857-1945), then a student at the Royal Institute Schools, sent Whistler 'a sketch on copper of your picture "The little White Girl" ' from a photograph that had been shown by George Clausen (1852-1944) to the students 'as an Example of the kind of work we should aim after'; Short added, 'We all went pretty well mad over it ... it has made such a revolution in my ideas of work that I think it ought to be known to all students of today' and he asked permission to publish a plate of it. 22

The fan by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858), The Banks of the Sumida River (1857) was discussed by MacDonald:

'Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, exhibited at the RA in 1865, showed Jo reflected in a mirror over a mantelpiece in Lindsey Row. The ostentatiously aesthetic decor included blue and white Chinese porcelain, and she held an Asian fan or hand-screen decorated with a woodcut by Hiroshige, The Banks of the Sumida River from the set of Famous Places in the Eastern Capital. Dating from 1857, it had taken at most seven years to sail from Japan to London. The fan shows a boat with a sail billowing in the wind, on a broad river of deep blue and green. In the distance are two more boats with rectangular sails and on the left, several barges. The striking composition and broad bands of rich colour fascinated the artist. In subject, composition and detail such prints had a strong influence on Whistler.

Whistler’s collection was sold when he went bankrupt: "Japanese hand screens" – possibly including Jo’s fan – were listed in the sale catalogue by Baker & Sons in 1879. "Eighteen Japanese Picture Books" were among items sold at Sotheby’s in 1880. Marcus B. Huish, Director of the Fine Art Society, bought these books, and noted their impact on Whistler’s later Battersea Bridge compositions.' 23

Frances Fowle wrote, for the Tate website :

'It shows a young woman ... gazing dreamily into a mirror. She is captured in a moment of deep contemplation. Her face is reflected in the mirror and silhouetted against a seascape, reinforcing the dream-like atmosphere. The reflected image is sad and careworn, and one is tempted to draw some kind of link with the wedding ring so prominently displayed on her left hand. Whistler may also have intended to evoke Velasquez's Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London), where the reflection of the woman's face is similarly at odds with her own idealised image.' 24

Expanding on this commentary, including the link with Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660), Christopher Newall wrote:

'The idea of a person being confronted by a past existence, or a sad premonition of what is to come – for while the girl standing before us is young and graceful, her mirrored image seems stooped and worn – appealed to a generation who looked for evidence of the spirit world in their daily surroundings ... In passing, one wonders whether Charles Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll') saw Whistler's painting ... in 1865, and whether perhaps he may have had it in mind when writing Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There in 1871.

The detached way in which the spectator is invited to inspect the figure of a woman who faces away from the viewer and who seems to avoid psychological engagement, but the expression of whose face ̶ as seen in the image of her reflection ̶ may be studied quite independently, is surely owed to Whistler's memory of Velazquez's Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London), which he must have seen at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857. In that painting, as in The Little White Girl, the careworn appearance of the woman as transmitted to the viewer through her reflection seems at odds with the idealised beauty of her actual presence.

Swinburne may perhaps have suggested to Whistler the notion of individuals coming upon themselves by supernatural agency and of the anxiety induced by such premonition of one's fate. In 1864, the year of The Little White Girl, Swinburne had visited Florence to study Renaissance paintings, and the essay that he subsequently wrote describing what he had seen explores this theme, in for example his account of paintings by Leonardo, whose works he found to be 'full of ... indefinable grace and grave mystery': 'Fair strange faces of women full of dim doubt and faint scorn; touched by the shadow of an obscure fate; eager and weary as it seems at once, pale and fervent with patience or passion; allure and perplex the eyes and thoughts of men.' 25

Technique

Composition

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain

J. D. Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville, The Frick Collection
J. D. Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville, The Frick Collection

The composition has been related to Whistler's interest in Jean Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). Andrew McLaren Young (1913-1975) cited Ingres's portrait of the Comtesse d'Haussonville of 1845 (Frick Collection) as an interesting comparison with Whistler's 'reflective' portrait. 26

J. E. Millais, Before the Mirror, 1861, from Laver, James, A History of British and American Etching, 1929
J. E. Millais, Before the Mirror, 1861, from Laver, James, A History of British and American Etching, 1929

A more immediate source may possibly be an etching attributed to John Everett Millais (1829-1896), Before the Mirror of 1861. 27

E. J. Poynter, The bunch of Blue Ribbons, 1862, Private collection
E. J. Poynter, The bunch of Blue Ribbons, 1862, Private collection

Another likely influence is The Bunch of Blue Ribbons (private collection) by Edward John Poynter (1836-1919), who had known Whistler as a student in Paris. 28 This was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1862 (cat. no. 144) and was owned by their mutual friend, Alexander Ionides (1840-1898). It was undoubtedly known to Whistler and could well have inspired him to produce a similar but more aesthetically harmonious composition.

'Punch's Advice to Ladies', Punch, 21 February 1863, repr. p. 73
'Punch's Advice to Ladies', Punch, 21 February 1863, repr. p. 73

An unsigned caricature that appeared in Punch on 21 February 1863, of a woman leaning with her left arm on a mantelpiece while gazing into a mirror, also displays a comparable attitude, combined with a mocking commentary on the fashionable crinoline (the like of which Whistler's model was not wearing). 29

Technique

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Tate Britain

The Pennells commented on Whistler's changing technique during the early 1860s, 'The paint is thinner on the canvas, the brush flows more freely. Method and design alike give the repose of the perfect work.' 30

Professor Joyce H. Townsend, Tate Britain, has provided a detailed analysis of the painting:

'The X-radiograph renders the lead white pigments used to paint the white dress and the flesh paint as light areas in the image. It can be seen in the X-radiograph, and in raking light from the top of the painting, that Whistler modified the position of the arms by incompletely scraping down the earlier position of the left one, with only the left elbow on the mantelpiece and that hand across the body. The right hand held something against the skirt: either an earlier fan, probably of the same size and shape, but with a different image upon it, hung from the right wrist by a loop of ribbon, or a bag or pouch of similar shape. Because so much paint was used for the dress, while only light areas of this object are depicted in the X-radiograph, all that can be said about its appearance is that there was a vague ‘X’ shape in darker paint running across it. The fan seen today is also rendered quite dark in the X-radiograph, which suggests that Whistler either added more white paint to the dress after he had made this change and begun to depict the fan with the Hiroshige image seen today, or else painted it onto an area that had been reserved for the purpose. Since the fan was painted at a late stage, its underlying paint having had time to dry, this could suggest that Whistler’s retouches in 1900 were to the dress. There is no evidence that the style of the dress changed at all during this development of the composition, so this might have been to repair surface damage.

The X-radiograph and the transmitted infrared image (this last emphasises black and dark brown pigments over white ones, rendering the darks colours as light areas in the image) indicate that the position of the head was adjusted, possibly more than once, It is more upright now, more in profile, and some 2 centimetres further to the left, making it ‘work’ less well with the angle of the reflected head in the mirror, which had fewer adjustments.

When the head was more tilted, the line of the skirt covered more of the grate. It is now less full.

None of these imaging techniques are likely to yield information on modifications to the vase or bowl, the reflected pictures on the opposite wall, nor the spray of flowers, but surface examination gives more clues. From the evidence of early photographs and commentaries, the adjustment to the arms, fan and head all occurred during painting, with no major modification since its first varnishing, before May 1864, and display later in that year. The effaced date of ‘1864’ was not rendered in any of these images, and the black and white ultraviolet light image (not reproduced here) did not yield any new information on its exact placement.

The transmitted infrared image offers a suggestion of ‘more’ hair when the head was tilted downwards, indicating that the hair was always loose and flowing. It also suggests that the fireplace was positioned first, the woman’s final posture established, the dress developed, the vase and bowl added, all before the fan and the flounces and sleeve puffs were added. There is no evidence that the sitter was ever depicted other than clothed: indeed, some of the pale flesh of the right arm, visible through the transparent white fabric, was created by applying pale pink paint over white for the fabric. Much of the sleeves were painted with a half-inch (12 mm) brush. The flowers in their final form were applied while the paint of the dress was still wet, but the present fan was done last, applied to dried paint. The paint was thickly applied everywhere, and the noticeable cracks in the fireplace near the original fuller skirt suggest less scraping-down than elsewhere. But some of the cracking may be due to several applications and removals of paint for the flowers.

Whistler’s retouchings of 1900 are not possible to identify from examination today. There are retouchings documented for a 1954 treatment, obvious at the left edge in ultraviolet light. Since the painting was first cleaned in 1892 and was re-varnished on that occasion, Whistler would have applied his retouchings on top of a varnish. In 1967 the painting was faced with tissue, impregnated and lined, all with wax/resin, at Tate. It is not explicitly stated that the varnish was removed and replaced, a step that often followed lining, so what we see today is likely the now-yellowed natural resin type varnish of 1892, spots of the original varnish beneath, and a combination of Whistler’s and later retouchings at the left edge. This suggests that whatever he did was minor in extent, since ultraviolet light generally reveals such old alterations.

The size and format of the painting are unaltered, as evidenced by Whistler’s own paint flowing onto the tacking margins, though the stretcher is not original, but dates from the 1967 treatment, when the first one would have been discarded. The medium/coarse canvas, with about 14 threads per centimetre, bears a colourman’s stamp ‘PREPARED BY / WINSOR & NEWTON / 38 RATHBONE PLACE / LONDON’ and a handwritten date ‘12.-63 / 2’. There is some dirt on the priming, beneath the paint – London air was full of pollution and particulate dust at this time. Keeping canvases clean before painting would not have been easy.

The preprimed canvas has a typical plain weave and a typical white priming applied in two layers, both containing lead white, chalk and oil. There is no coloured imprimatura of the type Whistler would use in many later portraits. However, an entry of 1967 in the Tate Conservation records (by the restorer who first lined the painting) suggests the composition was developed first in a caput mortuum colour (a pinkish purple, the terms denoting a purplish tone of red ochre). This might apply only to the figure. Later in the decade, Whistler would use a similar tone, lightened with lead white, for an imprimatura covering the whole canvas. Whistler used lead white-based paint exclusively for this canvas. It was a typical choice for the period. He used synthetic ultramarine and ultramarine ash to depict the vase on the mantelpiece, and rose madder and umber for the pink flowers. They, like the dress, include traces of Mars yellow, red ochre, Prussian blue and the other pigments noted, and their green leaves were mixed from synthetic ultramarine and cadmium yellow. Synthetic ultramarine and the rather pale ultramarine ash were much cheaper than the genuine ultramarine that he often favoured in later life. The red of the vase is also likely to be an inexpensive material rather than artists’ quality vermilion. The greenish background wall colour includes emerald green. All of these pigments except the unidentified red one have good light stability, and there is no evidence for any loss of colour through fading. The varnishes present today are all of natural resin type, and all have yellowed with age. Thus the greenish background today appears more green-yellow than it originally did.' 31

Conservation History

It was cleaned and varnished by Stephen Richards (1844-1900), picture restorer, in 1892. Whistler told the owner:

'I cannot help writing to you to congratulate you upon my beautiful pictures! - Are they not really lovely? - Now that I see them again I am filled with wonder to think that I should have personally known in a sort of easy comfortable friendly way - any one absolutely possessing such exquisite works! And in what a perfect condition! - Now - for some of them were in an abominable state when they came to me - but I took great pains with them and they were cleaned under my own supervision - and varnished, and returned to the pure state in which they originally left my hands - Of course it is a rare chance that they should be cared for in this way by myself - and I take this occasion to beseech you always to keep them under glass - The climate and smoke of England make it absolutely imperative.' 32

Fortunately Gerald Potter's son, J. C. Potter, thought it 'immensely improved by the cleaning.' 33

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, 1892/1894

However, several years later, in 1900, the painting apparently required treatment, and was 'beautifully repaired' by Claude Chapuis (1829-1908), picture restorer in Paris, and Whistler 'retouched the places - so that now it is all right again.' 34 It was probably at this time, according to the Pennells, that Whistler painted out the original date '1864' because he 'did not see the use of those great figures sprawling there.' 35

Frame

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911, f.p. 124
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in original frame, Pennell 1911, f.p. 124

The Pennells' reproduction shows the poem Before the Mirror: verses under a picture by Algernon Swinburne printed on gold leaf and gilded directly over the incised whorls on the lower half of the frame. 36 This shows that the text was not an original part of the frame design, but was added later, for exhibition in 1865. It is the only known Whistler frame to contain text. This was a practice commonly associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. Because of this connection, it is possible that Joseph Green who made several of Rossetti’s frames during the 1860s made this frame for Whistler.

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, in current frame

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, frame detail
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, frame detail

In 1892 during the preparations for the Goupil Gallery exhibition Whistler told J. C. Potter that it should be framed by Frederick Henry Grau (1859-1892):

' "The little White Girl" also ought to have a new frame. The old one is quite too weak for the picture - but there was no time to alter that - Do order one from Mr Grau. 570. Fulham Road. His prices are very little - and the pictures represent so much in comparison to what they cost!' 37

There are two possible interpretations for Whistler’s use of the word ‘weak’ in describing the frame that surrounded the Little White Girl. The first meaning could imply that the frame was not strong enough, physically, to support or protect the painting, thus suggesting poor craftsmanship or damage to the frame. The second meaning of the word ‘weak’ could imply that the frame was not strong enough, aesthetically, to support the painting. If this is the case, it illustrates a shift in Whistler’s artistic vision; the older frame had lost its original beauty and ultimately required replacing. It is not clear whether the portrait was reframed after the exhibition.

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24

The current Grau-style frame could have been made after the 1892 exhibition, possibly when it was bought by Studd in 1893, and was certainly on the picture by 1904, as shown in the photograph reproduced above.

Soon after the painting’s accession by the Tate Gallery in 1919, a removable glazing door was made to protect the work. This enabled the glazing and painting to be removed from the frame while it remained on the wall. The door is indicated by thumbscrew fixings at top left and right, stamped with Tate’s accession number. 38

History

Provenance

According to Whistler, Gerald Potter bought the painting for £150 'or less.' 39 On 24 March 1865 Whistler was told, presumably by the purchaser, that he could bring 'the White Maid', if it was finished, and hang it 'in state' on Monday. 40 This letter may have been written by Gerald Potter (1829-1908), or his eldest son, John Charles Potter (1854-1920), and it suggests that the painting was sold before the Royal Academy exhibition opened on 1 May 1865, and before A. C. Swinburne wrote the poem inspired by it, which was reproduced in the RA catalogue. 41 On 25 November Whistler's mother mentioned how much Whistler's step-brother George William Whistler (1822-1869) admired Potter's 'little White Girl'. 42

By 1888 both Gerald Potter and his son J. C. Potter were in communication with Whistler regarding Whistler's requests for loans of the painting. Eventually the Potters were prepared to consider selling it. Although it was exhibited in Munich in 1892, negotiations to buy it for the Neue Pinakothek failed; it appears there was a breakdown in communications between the owner, who wanted a high price, and the gallery. After the misunderstandings had been cleared up, the committee had already spent all its funds, so that the painting could not be purchased for the Munich Pinakothek. 43

It 'made a great sensation' when it was exhibited in Glasgow in 1893, but did not find a buyer. Whistler told D. C. Thomson, ' I want nothing to remain in England - Scotland is another thing', but Thomson reported that in Glasgow, 'One bold man offered to exchange a lot of rubbish for the White Girl - an Alma Tadema amongst them, but we declined.' 44 Alexander Reid (1854-1928) in Glasgow was prepared to offer £400 and said that he 'wouldn't mind possessing' it, but Whistler said the owner 'wants a jolly good price', and reported later that 'your 400. wasn't in it.' 45 However, he wrote indignantly to Thomson about the expedition to the north:

'I hear that things are "very bad" in Glasgow! How did you get on? And why do you always drag about these pictures of Potters?? Why? Why? Why!!!

It annoys me very much to think that works of that distinction should be hawked in this persistent way from one end of the land to the other!' 46

It was sold through Goupil's to the artist and collector A. H. Studd in late December 1893. 47 Whistler wrote complimenting the new owner on 21 January:

'... how really pleased I am to know that "the little White Girl" is at last safe from the further uncertainties & rudenesses of the "market", in the sympathetic care of a confrère! … I wish you would promise me that, if ever you were to be persuaded to leave it away from your own family, you would never present it to any Gallery in England.' 48

A dream owner, from Whistler's point of view, Studd explained that 'The price they asked for the Little White Girl was 1200£ … I offered £1400 for the two … the amount to be paid partly this year & partly next', and said that he had been prepared to sell it to the National Gallery at that price, and that he was prepared to lend it whenever and wherever Whistler required it. 49 Armed with this information, Whistler wrote several letters complaining about the boom in sales of his paintings, which failed to result in 'a beneficial result to myself!'

'You heard, did you, that Gerald Potter sold the "Little White Girl", and his "Nocturne Blue & Silver" in a lump for fourteen hundred pounds? He gave me for the two, £200, or less - so that he has made a clean sweep of twelve hundred pounds out of me.' 50

On 4 April 1900 Studd told Whistler he had offers of £2500 for it, which he refused, and the Pennells said Studd had refused an offer of £6000. 51 According to Hobson, Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) of Detroit was prepared to pay £250,000 for Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl y052, Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights y115, and Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel y169 but Studd would not sell. 52 Despite Whistler's stated objections to having any of his work in an English collection, it was bequeathed by Studd to the National Gallery, London, in 1919.

Exhibitions

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, 1865
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, 1865

1865: THE ROYAL ACADEMY

The poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was inspired by Whistler's picture to compose a verse ballad, Before the Mirror, to complement the picture. It was a response, not a description, as Whistler wrote, 'a rare and graceful tribute from the poet to the painter - a noble recognition of work by the production of a nobler one!' 53 Swinburne wrote it specifically for the occasion of the RA exhibition, checked it with Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), and sent it to Whistler:

'Here are the verses, written the first thing after breakfast & brought off at once. I could not do anything prettier, but if you don't find any serviceable as an Academy-Catalogue motto & don't care to get all this printed under the picture, tell me at once that I may try my hand at it to-morrow again. Gabriel praises them highly, & I think myself the idea is pretty: I know it was entirely & only suggested to me by the picture, & where I found at once the metaphor of the rose & the notion of sad & glad mystery in the face languidly contemplative of its own phantom & all other things seen by their phantoms. I wanted to work this out more fully & clearly, & insert the reflection of the picture & the room; but Gabriel says it is full long for its purpose already, & there is nothing I can supplant.' 54

The text is as follows:

'I. (1) White rose in red rose-garden Is not so white; Snow-drops that plead for pardon And pine for fright Because the hard east blows Over their maiden rose rows Grow not as this face grows from pale to bright.

(2) Behind the veil, forbidden, Shut up from sight, Love, is there sorrow hidden, Is there delight? Is joy thy dower or grief, White rose of weary leaf, Late rose whose life is brief, whose loves are light?

(3) Soft snows that hard winds harden Till each flake bite Fill all the flowerless garden Whose flowers took flight [p. 2] Long since when summer ceased And men rose up from feast And warm west wind grew east, & warm day night.

II. 1) Come snow, come wind or thunder High up in air, I watch my face, & wonder At my bright hair; Nought else exalts nor grieves The rose at heart, that heaves With love of her own leaves & lips that pair.

2) She knows not lips that kissed her She knows not where. Art thou the ghost, my sister, White sister there, Am I the ghost, who knows? My hand, a fallen rose, Lies snow-white on woven white snows, & takes no care. /

3) I cannot tell what pleasures Or what pains were, What pale new loves and treasures New years will bear; What beam will fall, what shower, What grief or joy for dower; But one thing knows the flower; the flower is fair. ...

Glad, but not for flushed with gladness, Since joys go by; Sad, but not bent with sadness, Since sorrows die; Faint in the gleaming glass She sees all past things pass, And all sweet life that was lie down & lie.

There glowing ghosts of flowers Draw down, draw nigh: And wings of swift dead hours Take flight & fly: She sees by formless gleams, She hears across cold streams, Dead mouths of many dreams that sing & sigh.

Face fallen & white throat lifted, With sleepless eye, She sees old loves that drifted,She knew not why, Old loves & faded fears Float down a shore that hears /

The flowing of all men's tears beneath the sky.' 55

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, photograph, ca 1864, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

The verses were printed on gold paper and stuck over the patterns carved on the picture frame. 56 An extract was published in the Royal Academy catalogue in 1865. Philippe Burty (1830-1890) commented, 'Les quatorze vers du poète, écrits sur la bordure même, ne sont là que comme l'ètiquette collée sur les costumes dans le magazine d'un théatre.' 57 Swinburne's poem, in a shortened version, was published with his Poems and Ballads in 1866, with a dedication to Whistler.

Curiously, an old acquaintance, R. W. McLeod Fullarton (1835-1896), wrote to Whistler after seeing the painting, 'a picture fitted to give so much pleasure to the few and so little to the many!' and enclosed his own homage to the painting, starting 'O fair ill-favour, where in ambush lie Beauties untold, ineffable!' 58

The Royal Academy exhibition opened on 1 May 1865. 'Old Battersea Bridge' hung in the Middle Room; a Japanese subject, 'The golden screen' appropriately hung in the East Room; and the portrait of Jo, 'The little white girl', hung with 'The Scarf' (another Asian subject) in the North Room. Reviews included Tom Taylor’s second report in the Times on 8 May. Taylor associated Whistler with a ‘school’ – the Pre-Raphaelites – and 'young painters' like Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898) (who actually had no works at the RA at the time):

' Mr. Whistler is the man at once of highest genius and most daring eccentricity in this school. He is equally capable of exquisite things or of gross impertinences, and this exhibition contains instances of both; of the former, in the 'Little White Girl', of the latter, in his two sketches of Japanese and Chinese fabrics and screens, accompanied by slight caricatures of maidens in the flowery land, mere plays of colour, … ugly in form and unfinished in execution.' 59

Taylor cited Belinda by Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1836-1904), Wynfield's Last Days of Elizabeth, Pettie's 'clever and dramatic' Drumhead Court Martial, Gentle Spring by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (1829-1904), and Stanhope's Beauty and the Beast, thus associating Whistler with the aesthetic, historicising subjects of the Pre-Raphaelite circle: 'Of its strength and weakness, its patience and slovenliness, its keen sense of beauty, and its frequent indifference to it, the pictures of Mr. Sandys and Mr. Whistler ... supply excellent illustration.' However, Taylor considered the Little White Girl, though 'slightly finished ... slovenly as many will call it' was 'likely to impress itself deeply on minds finely attuned to the delicate harmonics of colour and the subtlest suggestions of form.' 60

The Anglo-centric sense of superiority of the Victorian press is apparent in an otherwise flattering review in the Saturday Review. Asserting that Whistler, having assimilated ‘the eminent beauty and the naïf inventiveness in design’ of Japanese art, ‘seems now impelled to endeavour to reproduce it in England’, the critic asserted that ‘Beautiful as are the studies he has thus designed ... and useful as such practice may be in technical points, it is of course when the artist chooses his subject from English life that he can not only astonish, but arrest us.’ 61

1872: LONDON.

When the painting was shown in the International Exhibition, the critic of The Times commented:

'[It] has written round its frame some very beautiful, but not very lucid verses by Mr. Swinburne, addressed to the picture, which is of a woman clad in white and very truthfully painted muslin. Her arm is laid along a mantle-piece, she looks into a glass and we see the reflection of her plain features. There may seem to some an uncouthness in the monotony of colour and in the attitude, but nevertheless the picture is one ... which means more than it says, though not so much perhaps as the poet has said for it. Thought and passion are under the surface of the plain features, giving them an undefinable attraction, if not a charm, and the departure of the artist from conventionalities of colour and attitude is, at least in our eyes, bold and successful.' 62

1884: BRUSSELS.

Octave Maus (1856-1919) invited Whistler to exhibit in the Exposition internationale de peinture et de sculpture, Société des XX, Brussels, 1884 and the artist asked, through Charles William Deschamps (1848-1908) if Potter would lend the 'little White Girl', adding, 'He would have it back in plenty of time for the Season.' 63 However, none of Potter's works were ever exhibited with Les XX.

1887-1889: PARIS.

Claude Oscar Monet (1840-1926) wrote to Théodore Duret (1838-1927) that he hoped Whistler would lend 'la petite fille blanche' to the Exposition internationale de peinture et desculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1887. 64 However it was not among the fifty works contributed by Whistler. He then asked Potter to lend it for the Salon in 1888 and to Munich in the following year:

'Dont you see my dear Potter when a picture is purchased by the Louvre or the National Gallery, all can come and see it on the walls, but when a painting is bought by a private gentleman, it is, so to speak, withdrawn from circulation and, for public fame, is missing from the story of his reputation.' 65

Unfortunately, this plea came too late for the Salon, and the picture went neither to Paris nor Munich at that time.

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Goupil Album 1892, GUL Whistler PH5/2
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl, Goupil Album 1892, GUL Whistler PH5/2

1892: LONDON AND MUNICH.

It was listed as a desirable loan for Whistler's retrospective at Goupil's in 1892, and John Charles Potter (1854-1920), son of the owner Gerald Potter (1829-1908), was willing to lend, although Goupil's manager, David Croal Thomson (1855-1930) thought the portrait 'not so interesting' as other works. 66 Whistler replied indignantly, 'The uninteresting portrait you speak of is "The Little White Girl - Symphony in White No. 2" ' and told Thomson to 'accept everything'; reinforcing his request, Whistler wrote again, 'The portrait is the famous Little White Girl - Richards must clean and varnish at once.' 67 On 19 March Thomson wrote to Beatrice Philip (Mrs E. W. Godwin, Mrs J. McN. Whistler) (1857-1896) describing the hanging of the show:

'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.' 68

On 21 April J. C. Potter agreed to the picture 'going to Paris & Munich' but communication problems prevented it being shown in Paris, and meanwhile Whistler was concerned to obtain a better photograph for inclusion in the Goupil Album. 69 Although it was shown in Munich, in the autumn of 1892, delicate negotiations to buy it for the Neue Pinakothek failed. 70

1893: CHICAGO.

Attempts to borrow it for the World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893 failed. 71

1894: ANTWERP.

It was requested for exhibition in the Große Kunst-Ausstellung des Kunst-Vereins in der Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, 1894 but then it appears the destination was changed to Antwerp. 72 Whistler sent a sketch of the proposed hang of his panel, Paintings for exhibition in Antwerp m1427. 73 The 'Little Girl in White' hung in the American section of the international exhibition in Antwerp, but was withdrawn from competition and exhibited 'Hors concours' because exhibits were supposed to have been painted after 1885. 74

1895: VENICE

It was more successful in the following year, when it went on to Venice and won the seventh prize of 2500 lire. 75 Whistler was careful to spread the word:

'They have put it wrongly in the English papers - The seventh prize is not, as one would gather from the press, a question of degree - It is the 7th on the list -

There were ten prizes - not eight - and out of these ten the condition under which they could be awarded varied greatly. - Some were for Italians only - some for Venetians only - Several that were international could only be given for works that had never been exhibited before.' 76

1897: STOCKHOLM.

Anders Leonard Zorn (1860-1920) visited Whistler's studio in 1896 to discuss potential loans to the Allmänna konst- och industriutställningen in Stockholm in the following year. The splendidly named Eugène Napoleon Nicolas Bernadotte (1865-1947), Prince of Sweden and Norway, wrote that he hoped they could borrow 'votre "Dame en blanc" ', which he had seen in the studio. 77 The artist, having omitted to reply to Prince Eugène, nevertheless thanked Arthur Studd for agreeing to lend: 'Now this is really very nice and kind of you ... I am so glad you have done this about the Copenhagen Exhibition'. 78 However, the painting went to Stockholm rather than Den Internationale Kunstudstilling i København in the Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1897.

It was, on the whole, well received, in Stockholm. 'Partout et toujours, Whisthler [sic] est le maître supérieur, et d’autant plus ici qu’il expose la Jeune fille en blanc, une de ses plus belles oeuvres', wrote Julien Leclerq, while a Chicago journalist described Whistler as 'the most original' of the American exhibitors and the ‘Girl in White’ as 'admirable, even if it is an old painting and said to have been refused by the Paris salon many years ago' (which was not true!). 79

1899: By June 1897, Studd was in Tahiti admiring 'Women who walk like Goddesses - splendidly proportioned youths sitting in the moonlight, crowned with garlands' making further loans tricky. 80 Nevertheless Whistler put 'Symphonie in white No III The little White Girl' [sic] on what was probably a wish list for the 2. Ausstellung der Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, Vienna, 1899. 81 E. G. Kennedy also requested it, for the Grolier Club in New York in 1899, and asked Whistler to put in a good word for him, but Whistler, despite a wish to show it in America, was loathe to pressurise Studd, 'I hesitate to ask him, for he has so continually through kind feeling, left blank its place on his walls.' 82

1900: PARIS.

In April 1900 Whistler wrote from Paris to request the loan of 'our little White Girl in this great & beautiful Exposition! ... It will be very gratifying to me if you will do this - for the picture has never been seen in Paris.' 83 It was repaired, touched up, and, said the artist, 'the picture is hanging in the American Section - and looking its very best!' 84 Whistler's paintings were awarded a gold medal and Théodore Duret (1838-1927), describing Whistler's group as an oasis among the 'énorme déballage d'horreurs', wrote 'il y aura maintenant autant de médaillés de l'Exposition de 1900 en Amérique, qu'il y avait autrefois de colonels.' ('there will now be as many medals from the Exhibition of 1900 in America, as there were once colonels.') 85 A little spat arose in the press because Marion Henry Alexander Spielmann (1858-1948) suggested in the Daily Chronicle that the medal was awarded 'under false pretenses' but this was soon settled peacefully. 86

1902: EDINBURGH.

James Guthrie (1859-1930), after sending Edward Arthur Walton (1860-1922) to see Studd, reported that Studd was prepared to lend that 'lovely picture' to the Royal Scottish Academy, subject to Whistler's approval. The artist agreed. The Academicians greatly admired Whistler's work, and shortly afterwards, Whistler was unanimously elected an Honorary Member. 87

1904: BOSTON.

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/10
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/10

Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24
Whistler Memorial Exhibition, Boston 1904, photograph, GUL Whistler PH6/24

1904: The photographs reproduced above show it on exhibition in Boston, in the memorial exhibition after Whistler's death.

Bibliography

Catalogues Raisonnés

Authored by Whistler

Catalogues 1855-1905

Newspapers 1855-1905

Journals 1855-1905

Monographs

Books on Whistler

Books, General

Catalogues 1906-Present

EXHIBITIONS:

Journals 1906-Present

Websites

Unpublished

Other


Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 52).

2: Muther 1894 [more], repr. p. 529. Art Journal December 1894 [more], repr. p. 359. Anon., ‘Dzh. Uistler’, Mir Iskusstva, 9, 1903, pp. 61-69, repr. p. 62. Art Journal special number, October 1900 [more], repr.

3: [17/24 May 1864], GUW #02788.

4: Whistler to A. H. Studd, [3 May 1900], GUW #03163.

5: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 127.

6: Whistler to C. A. Howell, [17/24 May 1864], GUW #02788.

7: Letter to Whistler, 24 March [1865], GUW #05621.

8: 97th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1865 (cat. no. 530).

9: Catalogue London International Exhibition 1872 [more] (cat. no. 260).

10: Whistler to J. A. Rose, [November 1878], GUW #08784.

11: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 33).

12: VI. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1892 (cat. no. 1950a).

13: Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, Copley Society, Boston, 1904 (cat. no. 28).

14: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 5).

15: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 52).

16: An impression of this fan-shaped print, in different colours, was acquired by the V&A in 1886; V&A E.12087-1886. MacDonald, Margaret F., 'Whistler and the Thames', in: MacDonald, Margaret, and Patricia de Montfort, An American in London: Whistler and the Thames, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Addison Gallery of American Art, Freer Gallery of Art, 2013-2014, pp. 22-24, figs. 18, 19 (cat. no. 80).

17: Whistler’s collection was sold when he went bankrupt. ‘Japanese hand screens’ – possibly including the fan – were listed in the sale catalogue by Baker & Sons in 1879: Baker & Sons, The White House, Tite Street Chelsea ..., London, 18 September 1879 (lot 53). Items sold at Sotheby’s, Catalogue of the Decorative Porcelain Cabinet, Paintings, and other Works of Art of J.A. McN. Whistler, London, 12 February 1880, included lot 74, ‘18 Japanese Picture Books, Sketches of landscapes and figures, some coloured’ and ‘14 loose drawings’, and lot 77, ‘Twenty Volumes of Books, various’, which were sold for £3 7s 6d and £5 10s to M. B. Huish, Director of the Fine Art Society. Huish noted their impact on Whistler’s later compositions (M. B. Huish, ‘English appreciation of Japanese Art’, The Japan Society, London. Transactions & Proceedings, VII, 14th, 15th & 16th sessions, 1905–1907, p. 126). See MacDonald 2013-2014, op. cit., pp. 22-24; see also Ono 2003 [more], pp. 59-60.

18: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 128.

19: Pennell 1921C [more], room repr. f.p. 152.

20: Museum of the City of New York, Gift of the Misses Braman. MacDonald 2003 [more], p. 89, repr. pl. 85.

21: de Montfort, Patricia, 'White Muslin: Joanna Hiffernan and the 1860s', in MacDonald 2003 [more], pp. 76-91, at pp. 86-90, figs. 82, 86; dress from the Museum of the City of New York (47.83.1ab), ca 1864, fig. 85.

22: F. Short to Whistler, 26 January 1885, GUW #05416. Hardie, Martin, The Etched and Engraved Work of Sir Frank Short, 3 vols, vol. 3, London, 1940 (cat. no. 171).

23: MacDonald 2013-2014, op. cit., pp. 22-24.

24: Fowle, Frances, Tate website at http://www.tate.org.uk.

25: Fortnightly Review, vol. 4 (NS), 1868, pp. 16-40, quoted in Wilton, Andrew, Robert Upstone, et al, The Age of Rossetti, Burne-Jones & Watts: Symbolism in Britain 1860-1910, Tate Britain, London, 1997, pp. 116-17 (cat. no. 15).

26: Young, Andrew McLaren, James .McNeill Whistler, Milan, 1963, pp. 5, 7.

27: Laver 1929 [more], repr. See also Yearwood, Claire Elizabeth, The Looking-glass world: Mirrors in Pre-Raphaelite Painting, 1850-1915, Ph.D. University of York 2014, fig. 97-98; and Pyne 2010 [more], fig. 3.5 repr.

28: Staley, Allen, The New Painting of the 1860s: Between the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetic Movement, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011, repr. p. 199. The Maas Gallery, London, 2016 (cat. no. 15), website at http://www.maasgallery.co.uk.

29: Anon., 'Punch's Advice to Ladies', Punch, 21 February 1863, repr. p. 73, with the text, 'As the Ladies are so warmly attached to their Crinolines, Mr. Punch strongly recommends that, instead of discarding them, they should wear them outside their dresses to serve as a Fire-guard.' YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 52).

30: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 128.

31: Professor Joyce H. Townsend, Tate Britain, Report of examination, September 2017. See also MacDonald, Margaret F., Joanna Dunn, and Joyce H. Townsend, 'Painting Joanna Hiffernan', in Margaret F. MacDonald (ed.), The Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and Washington, 2020, pp. 33-45.

32: Whistler to J. G. Potter, [26/30 March 1892], GUW #01488.

33: J. C. Potter to Whistler, 4 April 1892, GUW #05006.

34: Whistler to Studd, [3 May 1900], GUW #03163.

35: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, p. 127.

36: Pennell 1911 A [more], repr. f.p. 124. A print of this photograph, inscribed to Swinburne, was sold at Sotheby's, London, 11 July 1996 (lot 236).

37: Whistler to J. C. Potter, [26/30 March 1892], GUW #01488.

38: The frame has been re-gilded but by 2016 was flaking and dirty. Dr Sarah L. Parkerson Day, Report on frames, 2017; see also Parkerson 2007 [more].

39: Whistler to Ionides, [15 August 1895], GUW #02364; Whistler to [J. G.] Potter, [January/February 1894] and [21 February 1894], GUW #13346 and #05010.

40: [G. or J. C. Potter] to Whistler, 24 March [1865], GUW #05621.

41: One copy of Swinburne's poem has been dated [2 April 1865], GUW #05619; Lang 1959 [more], vol. 1, No. 74A.

42: 25 November [1865], GUW #06526.

43: Adolf Paulus to Whistler, 26 June 1892, GUW #04217, and 26 November 1892, GUW #04221.

44: Whistler to Thomson, [20 July 1893], GUW #08254; D. C. Thomson to Whistler, 15 November 1893, GUW #05791; see Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights y115.

45: Reid to Whistler, 6 September and 28 November 1893, GUW #05156 and #05157; Whistler to Reid, [3 December 1893], GUW #03248, and [3 March 1894], GUW #13510.

46: [10 December 1893], GUW #08287.

47: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, 20 [January 1894], GUW #08283; 'at least a thousand guineas', Whistler to E. G. Kennedy, 4 February 1894, GUW #09715. In a draft letter to A. Graves Whistler wrote 'The Little White Girl, for which Mr Potter gave me 150 - or 100, I forget which - he has just sold for a thousand', [12/15 December 1893], GUW #01834; Whistler asked Thomson for the exact price, [22/23 January and 25 January 1894], GUW #08276 and #08275.

48: 21 January 1894, GUW #02671.

49: 27 January 1894, GUW #05610.

50: Whistler to H. E. Whistler, [1/10 February 1894], GUW #06728; see also Whistler to E. G. Kennedy, 4 February 1894, GUW #09715; Whistler to D. C. Thomson, 12 February [1894], GUW #08285; and Whistler to A. Reid, 14 February 1894, GUW #13374.

51: GUW #05613. Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 2, p. 127.

52: Hobson 1946 [more], p. 171.

53: Whistler to J. N. Dunn, 3 August 1902, GUW #09458, published in Whistler, James McNeill, 'Latest Bulletin From Mr. Whistler,' The Morning Post, London, 6 August 1902.

54: [2 April 1865], GUW #05619.

55: 2 April 1865, GUW #05620; another copy appears with GUW #05621. Algernon Swinburne, Poems and Ballads, London, 1866.

56: Pennell 1911 A [more], repr. f.p. 124. See also Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 1, pp. 129-30.

57: Burty 1865 [more], at p. 561.

58: 14 May 1865, GUW #11005. The full text reads: 'O fair ill-favour, where in ambush lie Beauties untold, ineffable! Oh rare To find what others find not, nor to share Our admiration with the vulgar eye, Which when it sees her, what can it descry? The faulty feature, not the faultless air, The leaden casket not the jewel fair, That Croesus' wealth would not avail to buy. Sweet unapparent beauty, known to none! Like the invisible odour that the rose Hides in her virgin breast, till that the sun With golden finger bids her heart [unclose?] Else unrevealed; to one touch only, one, She opens, and her fragrance overflows.'

59: Anon., [Taylor, Thomas], 'The Exhibition of the Royal Academy' (Second Notice), The Times, London, 8 May 1865, p. 8.

60: Anon., [Taylor, Thomas], 'The Exhibition of the Royal Academy. Fourth Notice, The Times, London, 24 May 1865, p. 6.

61: Anon., ‘The Royal Academy Exhibition (Third Notice)’, Saturday Review, vol. 19, 3 June 1865, pp. 665-67.

62: Taylor, Tom, The Times, 14 May 1872 [more].

63: Whistler to J. G. Potter, [1884/1885], GUW #09336; Whistler to C.W. Deschamps, [8 January 1884], GUW #07908.

64: [13/20 March 1887], GUW #12300.

65: Whistler to J. C. or J. G. Potter, [25 April 1888], GUW #05005; see also Whistler to Potter, [25/30 April 1888], GUW #05094.

66: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [4/11 January 1892], GUW #06795; Thomson to Whistler, 9 February 1892, GUW #05683.

67: 21 February [1892], GUW #08212; 28 February [1892], GUW #08213.

68: GUW #05705.

69: J. C. Potter to Whistler, GUW #05007; see also W. Marchant to Whistler, 29 April 1892, GUW #05733; J. C. Potter to Whistler, 1 May 1892, GUW #05008; Whistler to D. C. Thomson, 2 May 1892 and [6 May 1892], GUW #08205, GUW #08200.

70: Whistler to Adolf Paulus, 5 August 1892, GUW #04218; C. F. Ulrich to Whistler, 19 November 1892, GUW #04220; Paulus to Whistler, 26 November 1892, GUW #04221.

71: B. Whistler to E. G. Kennedy, [22 October / November 1892], GUW #09703.

72: B. Whistler to A. H. Studd, 26 February 1894, GUW #03166, and [4 March 1894], GUW #03167; Whistler to A. H. Studd, 22 March [1894], GUW #03148.

73: Whistler to J. M. Stewart, [19/26 March 1894], GUW #10552.

74: C. S. Pearce to Whistler, 28 July 1894, GUW #00192; Whistler to Pearce, [29/31 July 1894], GUW #00193.

75: Antonio Fradeletto to Whistler, [9 September 1895], GUW #05933 and 4 December 1895, GUW #05924; Whistler's replies, [1/2 December 1895], GUW #05935 and 15 December 1895, GUW #09498.

76: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [17 September 1895], GUW #08370; see also Morning Post, 1 September 1895; Whistler to E. G. Kennedy, [12 September 1895], GUW #07258; Whistler to J. Pennell, [20/27 September 1895], GUW #07832.

77: Zorn to Whistler, 2 December 1896, GUW #01057; C. A. Ossbahr to Whistler, 23 and 25 April 1896, GUW #01055 and #01056 (the writer was called 'C. R. Orshabe' in these transcripts). I am deeply obliged to Dr Eva-Charlotta Mebius, Department of English Literature, University College London, for providing information on this exhibition (email dated 29 November 2020).

78: Whistler to Studd, [March/April 1897], GUW #03158.

79: Julien Leclerq, 'La peinture a l’exposition de Stockholm', La Chronique des Arts et de la Curisoité, 16 October 1897, p. 310; 'Scandinavia’s Fair', The Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 5 September 1897, p. 35. Quoted in Stone, Elizabeth Doe, ‘American Art at the 1897 Stockholm Exhibition’, Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History, 2020; DOI: 10.1080/00233609.2020.1848913. She also cites general approval of Whistler's work expressed in 'Konstutställningen. Internationell konst', Dagens Nyheter, 6 September 1897, p. 3. The painting was reproduced in Från Konsthallen. Afbildningar af 120 konstverk från 1897-års internationella konstutställning i Stockholm. Jemte biografiska notiser om de i arbetet företrädda konstnärerna, Nordin & Josephsons Förlag, Stockholm, 1897.

80: Studd to Whistler, 22 June 1897, GUW #05612.

81: 12 February 1898, GUW #12579.

82: Kennedy to Whistler, 27 June and 25 July 1899, GUW #08309 and #07313; Whistler's reply, [1 August 1899], GUW #09784.

83: Whistler to Studd, [17 April 1900], GUW #03161.

84: Whistler to Studd, [3 May 1900], GUW #03163; see also J. B. Cauldwell to Whistler, 3 May 1900, GUW #04417.

85: 29 September 1900, GUW #00994. See also Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 2, p. 251.

86: Spielmann 1900 [more]. Whistler to J. B. Caldwell, [7/10 October 1900], GUW #04416, reply, 12 October [1900, GUW #04420; G. & W. Webb to Daily Chronicle, [7/20 October 1900], GUW #00797.

87: Guthrie to Whistler, 27 January 1902, GUW #01874; [19 March 1902], GUW #01875.