Draped Figure at a Railing

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
1868-1870
Medium
Drawing; black and white crayon on brown paper
Dimensions
H x W (a - drawing): 27.8 × 18.1 cm (10 15/16 × 7 1/8 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1905.130a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
United States, woman
Provenance

James Staats Forbes (1823-1904), London [1]

To 1905
William Marchant & Co., London, to 1905 [2]

From 1905 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from William Marchant & Co. in 1905 [3]

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

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record states: "From the Forbes collection. See Journal Voucher No. 1, December 1905."

[2] See Original Whistler List, Drawings, pg. 3, 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)

William Marchant & Co. (C.L. Freer source)
James Staats Forbes 1823-1904
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Drawing from a live model, Whistler here explored the drape of filmy gauze on a figure set against a rail. The composition was one of his favorites and reappears in subsequent drawings, paintings, and prints. While the draperies and hip-sprung stance recall ancient classicism, the gesture of the hand held to the face is reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints of courtesans laughing behind their kimono sleeves.

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Joseph Pennell. The Life of James McNeill Whistler. 2 vols., London and Philadelphia. p. 138.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 241, pl. 212.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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