Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1871-1872
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
H x W (frame): 82 × 62.7 cm (32 5/16 × 24 11/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1902.249a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Oil painting

Keywords
river, United States, water
Provenance

To 1902
John James Cowan (1846-1936), Edinburgh, Scotland, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from John James Cowan in December 1902 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 5, 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)

John James Cowan (C.L. Freer source) 1846-1936
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Like the prints in Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, this painting records a scene from everyday life in a modern city.  Perhaps inspired by the vantage point of his second-story window, Whistler adopted the bird's-eye perspective typical of Hiroshige prints, in which distant objects appear high in the composition. The artist's view in 1872 would have encompassed the construction of the Chelsea Embankment, an enormous enterprise to reclaim acres of mud from the river and build massive, granite-faced walls and landing stages along the Thames; Whistler incorporated the construction fence and a newly planted sapling in his composition.


   

Published References
  • Geneva Frances Morgan Tilleux. The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, 1857-1873. Ann Arbor. fig. 56.
  • Hilary Taylor. James McNeill Whistler. New York. pl. 76.
  • Léonce Bénédite. L'œuvre de James MacNeill Whistler: quarante reproductions de chefs-d'œuvre du maître, réunis à l'occasion de l'exposition commémorative organisée à Paris, au palais de l'École nationale des beaux-arts. Exh. cat. Paris. pl. 36.
  • Denys Sutton. Nocturne: The Art of James McNeill Whistler. Philadelphia and New York, 1964. fig. 24.
  • Grace Dunham Guest. Whistler: The Artist and the Man. Smithsonian Institution Radio Program, vol. 10, no. 3 New York. no. 9.
  • Andrew McLaren Young, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer. The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler. Studies in British Art 2 vols. New Haven, 1980. vol. 2: pl. 108.
  • Bunkio Matsuki. James A. McNeill Whistler: In Memoriam. vol. 5. p. 9.
  • Donald Holden. Whistler Landscapes and Seascapes. New York. p. 33, pl. 6.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 37, fig. 24.
  • Robin Spencer. James McNeill Whistler. British Artists. p. 44.
  • Thomas Robert Way. Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the artist. London. p. 58.
  • Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Joseph Pennell. The Whistler Journal. Philadelphia, 1921. p. 59.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. pp. 121, 158, pl. 24.
  • Theodore Duret. Histoire de James McNeill Whistler et de Son Oeuvre. Paris. p. 122.
  • David Park Curry. Impressionism Versus the Aesthetic Movement., November 2002. p. 145, pl. 21.
  • Bernhard Sickert. Whistler. London and New York. cat. 59, p. 158.
  • Elisabeth Luther Cary. The Works of James McNeill Whistler: A Study., First edition. New York, 1907. cat. 57, p. 165.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler: Uneasy Pieces. Richmond and New York, 2004. p. 199, fig. 5.28.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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