La Belle Dame Paresseuse

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)
Historical period(s)
1894
Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 23.5 x 17.3 cm (9 1/4 x 6 13/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1906.179
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Lithograph

Keywords
portrait, United States, woman
Provenance

From at least 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from the artist by at least 1906 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Lithographs, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Regarding the purchase details for this object, a note in the Accession File, Collections Management office, states only: "From Mr. Whistler." Also, according to Curatorial Remark 2, G.D.G., 1921, in the object record: "No record existing of the time of purchase, the print was given a registration number for 1906, the year of the printed Inventory."

[2] 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)

James McNeill Whistler (C.L. Freer source) 1834 - 1903
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919

Label

Beatrix Whistler, the artist's wife is shown here, seated at the end of a sofa at 110 rue du Bac. Whistler loved this lithograph. In a September 1894 letter, he challenged his London printer to take a "fine proof" of La Belle Dame Paresseuse "and put it beside any one of the old lithographs out of your portfolio-and then see how this 'belle dame' looks fair and silvery, and beautiful in the quality of blacks! Indeed far and away more like the charcoal drawing itself of the painter-than anything that had ever been printed!-it is also quite velvety-like . . . the burr in a drypoint!"

Quotation from Whistler to Thomas Way, September 14, 1894.

Published References
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 47, fig. 91.
  • The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler. 2 vol., Chicago and New York, 1998. pp. 438-443.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum