The Staircase: Note in Red

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1880
Medium
Crayon and pastel on brown paper
Dimensions
H x W: 28.8 x 20.3 cm (11 5/16 x 8 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1902.174a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
spring, United States
Provenance

To 1902
Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934), London, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Henry Studdy Theobald, London, in August 1902 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] Undated folder note sheet, Object file. See also Original Whistler List, Purchases from Theobald, pg. 9, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives; and Voucher No. 1, August 1902, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] 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)

Henry Studdy Theobald (C.L. Freer source) 1847-1934
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

The tree peeking over the courtyard wall is in blossom, but its leaves are still in bud, suggesting that this drawing was completed in the spring of 1880. In contrast to The Beggars-Winter, (see F1902.175) this pastel is awash in color. The dominant feature is the rich, orange-red of the staircase, but the drawing is enlivened with delicate touches of white; yellow; light, dark, and orangey pink; dark orange; pale and dark gray; and pale blue, all of which are united by the brown paper.

Published References
  • Robert H. Getscher. Whistler and Venice. Ann Arbor. pl. 36.
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Elisabeth Luther Cary. The Works of James McNeill Whistler: A Study., First edition. New York, 1907. cat. 90, p. 171.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 262, pl. 252.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.