The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 262
The Blue Band

The Blue Band

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1884
Collection: Whereabouts Unknown
Accession Number: none
Medium: oil
Support: unknown
Size: unknown
Signature: unknown
Inscription: unknown
Frame: unknown

Date

The Blue Band dates from Whistler's stay in St Ives between January and March 1884. 1

According to Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), 'a fish shop with a blue band' at St Ives was painted both by Whistler and Menpes, and Whistler's painting was exhibited at Dowdeswell's in 1884 or 1886, as 'The Blue Band'. 2

None of the pictures exhibited at Dowdeswells in 1884 or 1886 appear to correspond with Menpes' description. However, Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop y263 was exhibited with 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 49) and has a striking pale blue band painted above the shop, so it may have been the same picture.

Images

The Blue Band, Whereabouts unknown
The Blue Band, Whereabouts unknown

Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Subject

Titles

Only one title is known:

Description

Described by Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938) as 'a fish shop with a blue band'. 5

Site

St Ives, Cornwall. It was a very busy fishing port and there were several fish-shops (if the subject was really a fish shop as described by Mortimer Menpes, and not a sweet shop).

Technique

Technique

Unknown.

Conservation History

Unknown.

Frame

Unknown.

History

Provenance

Unknown.

Exhibitions

Menpes wrote that 'The Blue Band' was originally priced by Whistler at 45 guineas, but that enthusiasm engendered by gooseberry wine induced his friends to run this up to £120.0.0. 6

Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop, I. S. Gardner Museum
Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop, I. S. Gardner Museum

Menpes may have been wrong about identifying 'The Blue Band' as a fish shop. It could have been Blue and Orange: Sweet Shop y263, which was priced at £50.0.0 by Messrs Dowdeswell until doubled to £100.0.0 by Whistler. 7

Bibliography

Catalogues Raisonnés

Authored by Whistler

Catalogues 1855-1905

Journals 1855-1905

Monographs

Books on Whistler

Books, General

Catalogues 1906-Present

Journals 1906-Present

Websites

Unpublished

Other


Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 262).

2: Menpes 1904 A [more], pp. 118-19, 140.

3: Menpes 1904 A [more], pp. 118-19, 140.

4: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 262)

5: Menpes 1904 A [more], pp. 118-19, 140.

6: Menpes 1903 C [more], at p. 762.

7: Annotated catalogue, 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 49), GUL Whistler EC1886.