Chambre à la Ferme de Maladrie

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
ca. 1861
Medium
Pencil on white paper
Dimensions
H x W: 16.9 x 21.7 cm (6 5/8 x 8 9/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1898.155
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
United States
Provenance

Seymour Haden (1818-1910), London [1]

To 1898
H. Wunderlich & Co., New York to 1898 [2]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from H. Wunderlich & Co., through Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), in November 1898 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Haden Collection Drawings, pg. 1, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See Voucher No. 20, November 1898, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Francis Seymour Haden 1818-1910
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
H. Wunderlich & Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1874-1912

Label

The drawing appears to have been sketched from life, probably during Whistler's Rhineland tour. The figure at the window is difficult to read - Wedmore couldn't even tell whether it was a man or a woman in the later etching. However, it is unlikely that a miser would have posed to a stranger while counting his hoard. The figure in the window could as well be Whistler's traveling companion Delannoy. Once back in Paris, the drawing became the basis for a dramatic etching entitled The Miser (F1898.309). The drawn image was reversed and the composition simplified. Whistler increased the contrast between the dark figure and the light wall, removed the drapery from the table and bench, and cropped the space to the right of the hunched figure. Both the bench and table were lengthened. By all these means the artist emphasized spatial recession, and heightened the dramatic impact of the etching. Whistler's romanticized reworking of the farm scene as well as its new title may reflect to some extent Whistler's struggle to keep traveling once his funds had run out in Cologne. The artist reported that in some cases he met with stingy hospitality.

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Howard Mansfield. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etchings and Dry-points of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Chicago, 1909. .
  • Katharine Lochnan. The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler. Exh. cat. New Haven and London, 1984. .
  • Edward G. Kennedy. The Etched Work of Whistler: Illustrated by Reproductions in Collotype of the Different States of the Plates. 4 vols., New York, 1910. .
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 217, pl. 163.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

Related Objects