Nelly

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1867-1870
Medium
Chalk on blue laid paper
Dimensions
H x W: 21.4 x 14.3 cm (8 7/16 x 5 5/8 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1898.159
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
portrait, United States, woman
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

This picture of Nelly Ionides smoking is noticeably more lifelike than Whistler's earlier image of her.  Although Whistler stylized his sitter less, he related her general pose to other drawings. Fascinated with beautiful women languidly posed in armchairs, Whistler continued to create such images throughout his career. In 1863 Whistler etched "Weary," (see K.92: F1889.28, F1898.329, F1905.164) a portrait of his mistress Jo Hiffernan, which is similar in appearance to his treatment of Nelly, particularly in the sketchy handling of the voluminous skirt. Whistler often posed different sitters in standard positions, making them look somewhat alike.

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©. New Haven, 1995. .
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 236, pl. 202.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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