Sea, Honfleur dates from July 1896. 1
It was probably painted in Honfleur when Whistler wrote to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), 'I have not been able to manage anything in the way of painting ... However, if fine tomorrow, I may bring away a bit of the sea.' 2 On his return, on 21 July Whistler told the London art dealer David Croal Thomson (1855-1930) that he had been away, and could show him 'a little panel.' 3 On the following day he wrote to his friend, the New York art dealer, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) that Brown and Gold: The Curé's Little Class y455 and 'the tiny sea bit you brought back are sold "en bloc" this afternoon.' 4 It was in fact sold to D. C. Thomson of the Goupil Gallery, but Whistler's later correspondence with Thomson does not mention a panel that can be associated with this seascape.
Sea, Honfleur, Whereabouts unknown
Only one title has been suggested:
A small seascape.
Honfleur is a busy and picturesque French port on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from Le Havre. Shortly after the death of his wife, visited Honfleur for a few days with Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932).
It is possible that other seascapes by Whistler, of Dieppe for instance, could have been confused with this.
Whistler told Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) that Brown and Gold: The Curé's Little Class y455 and 'the tiny sea bit you brought back are sold "en bloc" this afternoon.' 6
It was not exhibited, as far as is known, in Whistler's lifetime.
1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 456).
2: [18 July 1896], GUW #04666.
3: 21 July , GUW #08419.
4: 23 July 1896, GUW #09756.
5: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 456).
6: 23 July 1896, GUW #09756.