An Orange Note: Sweet Shop

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1883 or 1884
Oil on wood panel
H x W: 12.2 x 21.5 cm (4 13/16 x 8 7/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Oil painting

fruit, United States

To 1904
Wickham Flower (circa 1836-1904), London, to 1904 [1]

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London, purchased at the sale of the Wickham Flower Collection, Christie's, December 17, 1904 [2]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. in 1904 [3]

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


[1] According to Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record: " Purchased from Mr. Desprez of P. and D. Colnaghi and Co., London, in 1904, and by them purchased at Christie's Sale, December 17, 1904, of the Wickham Flower Collection."

[2] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, 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) and Custodian(s)

P. & D. Colnaghi (C.L. Freer source)
Wickham Flower ca. 1836-1904
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This is one of several paintings of shop fronts that Whistler completed while in St. Ives. Sympathetic critics singled it out for enthusiastic praise when Whistler exhibited it in London in 1884. One declared, it "is probably the most perfect little thing of its kind that was ever wrought by an artist who has learnt how to see….It is without detail, without apparent labour, without dramatic interest; but it is exquisite in colour, faultless in tone, and its well-considered mystery has, at least, the interest of suggestiveness."

Quotation from Mr. Whistler's Exhibition, Standard, May 19, 1884.

Published References
  • David Park Curry. Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited. Exh. cat. New York. cat. 82.
  • Whistler portfolio. London. pl. 1.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book X. Washington. .
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book VIII. Washington, May 1923. .
  • Andrew McLaren Young, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer. The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler. Studies in British Art 2 vols. New Haven, 1980. .
  • Anna Gruetzner. A Fragile Modernism: Whistler and His Impressionist Followers. New Haven and London, 2007. fig. 17.
  • Burns A. Stubbs. James McNeill Whistler: A Biographical Outline Illustrated from the Collections of the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 1, no. 4 Washington, 1950. pl. 16.
  • Kenneth Myers. Whistler and the Quintessencier: Violet and Blue. vol. 85, no. 1/4. p. 37.
  • Kenneth Myers. Mr. Whistler's Gallery: Pictures at an 1884 Exhibition. Washington. cat. 33, p. 59.
  • unknown title. London, April 1887. p. 97.
  • Frances Fowle. Monet and French Landscape: Vetheuil and Normandy: Proceedings of a conference held Oct. 17-18, 2003 at the National Museums of Scotland. Edinburgh. p. 128, pl. 30.
  • Mortimer Menpes. Whistler As I Knew Him. London. p. 128.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 131, pl. 35.
  • Bernhard Sickert. Whistler. London and New York. cat. 158, p. 172.
  • Theodore Duret. Histoire de James McNeill Whistler et de Son Oeuvre. Paris. p. 177.
  • Elisabeth Luther Cary. The Works of James McNeill Whistler: A Study., 1st ed. New York, 1907. cat. 226, p. 193.
  • , Robin Asleson, Lee Glazer, Lacey Taylor Jordan, John Siewert, Marc Simpson, Sylvia Yount. After Whistler: The Artist and His Influence on American Painting. Exh. cat. p. 196, fig. 105.
  • Katharine Lochnan. The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler. Exh. cat. New Haven and London, 1984. p. 229.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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