Writing on the Wall

Standing figure of a naked young woman in three-quarters back view, her hand extended toward a wall.

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1893-1898
Medium
Drawing; chalk and pastel on brown paper
Dimensions
H x W: 27.5 x 18 cm (10 13/16 x 7 1/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1902.113a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
United States, woman
Provenance

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from the artist in 1902 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 24, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] 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)

James McNeill Whistler (C.L. Freer source) 1834-1903
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Standing figure of a naked young woman in three-quarters back view, her hand extended toward a wall.

Label

Charles Lang Freer was one of the first collectors to recognize the importance and beauty of Whistler's late nudes. Freer first met Whistler in London, in March 1890. The two got on well, and Whistler sold Freer a recent pastel nude. It was the second Whistler drawing to enter Freer's collection, and the first pastel. During the 1890s, most of the Whistler drawings and oil paintings that Freer acquired were recent work, many of them female nudes.

Published References
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art. Catalogue of the inaugural exhibition, January 7- February 7, 1915. Exh. cat., 1915. 311, p. 50.
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Charles Henry Caffin. The Art of James McNeill Whistler: Lecture at the Detroit Museum of Art. Detroit, Friday, April 23, 1909. p. 35.
  • With Kindest Regards: The Correspondence of Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler 1890-1903. Washington. p. 147, fig. 40.
  • Elisabeth Luther Cary. The Works of James McNeill Whistler: A Study., First edition. New York, 1907. cat. 125, p. 177.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 271, pl. 270.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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