The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler

YMSM 273
Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet

Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet

Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Date: 1884
Collection: Whereabouts unknown
Accession Number: unknown
Medium: unknown
Support: unknown
Size: unknown
Signature: unknown
Inscription: unknown
Frame: unknown

Date

Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet dates from Whistler's painting expedition to St Ives, Cornwall, from January to March 1884. 1

There has been some confusion between the title and history of Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet and Pink and Opal: Harbour y272.

Images

Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet, Whereabouts unknown
Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet, Whereabouts unknown

Pink and Opal: Harbour, Colby College Museum of Art
Pink and Opal: Harbour, Colby College Museum of Art

Subject

Titles

Only one title is known, with varying punctuation:

Description

Presumably this showed the small fishing boats of the vast herring fleet at sea.

Site

St Ives, Cornwall.

Technique

Technique

Unknown.

Frame

Unknown.

History

Provenance

It was bought from the Dowdeswell exhibition in 1884 by Miss van der Weyer, the sister of Lady Esher and daughter of Sylvain van de Weyer (1802-1874), one time Belgian minister of the Court of St James's. 4

Pink and Opal: Harbour, Colby College Museum of Art
Pink and Opal: Harbour, Colby College Museum of Art

The later history of this painting is not known, and has been confused with that of Pink and Opal: Harbour y272.

Exhibitions

Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921) praised the painting when it was exhibited in 1884: 'What a placid charm in that delicate, ghostly vision of the "Herring Fleet" (48)! Poetical, we should call it, only that to be poetical is to be literary'. 5

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Unpublished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. 273).

2: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884 (cat. no. 48).

3: YMSM 1980 [more] 'Blue and Opal: Herring Fleet' (cat. no. 273), see also 'Pink and Opal: Harbour' (cat. no. 272).

4: Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell to Whistler, [July 1885/1886], GUW #00867.

5: Wedmore 1884 [more]. Press cutting in GUL Whistler PC 6, p. 53.