Caprice in Purple and Gold: The Golden Screen

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1864
Medium
Oil on wood panel
Dimensions
H x W (frame): 50.1 × 68.5 cm (19 3/4 × 26 15/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1904.75a
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Oil painting

Keywords
screen, ukiyo-e, United States
Provenance

To 1904
Cyril Flower (1843-1907), London, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Cyril Flower, through William Marchant and Co., London, in 1904 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 14, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Purchased in June 1904. See also, Curatorial Remark 3, S. Hobbs, 1977, in the object record).

[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)

Cyril Flower (C.L. Freer source) 1843 - 1907
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

In the mid-1860s Whistler undertook a series of works in which recognizably English models in exotic costumes are depicted as Japanese courtesans surrounded by objects from the artist’s personal collection of Asian art. Here, he presents the Irish model Joanna Hiffernan in the guise of a Japanese courtesan, contemplating a print from Utagawa Hiroshige’s Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces, an iconic series of meisho-e, or images of notable places. When Charles Lang Freer first saw this painting in 1902, he had acquired an impressive collection of Japanese prints and paintings as well as hundreds of works by Whistler. Freer declared that Caprice was “one of the most perfect things in composition and colouring in the whole range of Mr. Whistler’s art.”

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Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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