Portrait of Whistler

Maker(s)
Artist: Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Historical period(s)
1865
Medium
Oil on canvas mounted on aluminum panel
Dimensions
H x W: 46.8 x 36.6 cm (18 7/16 x 14 7/16 in)
Geography
France
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1906.276a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Oil painting

Keywords
artist, France, portrait
Provenance

To 1906
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), New York, NY, to 1906 [1]

From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Samuel Putnam Avery in 1906 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Reserved List of Whistleriana, Wh. R. 1, L. 5807, pg. 1, 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)

Samuel Putnam Avery (C.L. Freer source) 1822-1904
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Whistler’s good friend Henri Fantin-Latour originally included this portrait as part of a large composition called Le toast: Hommage à la Verit&‌eacute; (The Toast: Homage to Truth) that also depicted such avant-garde figures as the painter Edouard Manet and the poet Charles Baudelaire. The Frenchmen wore conventional black suits in the group portrait. Whistler, however, insisted on distinguishing himself by wearing a colorful Chinese robe. Fantin’s group portrait and Whistler’s painting The Princess from the Land of Porcelain were exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1865. Critics ridiculed Fantin’s work, and he later destroyed it, leaving only this fragment of Whistler.

Published References
  • E. J. Rousuck Invites you to a Spring Show of Fantin-Latour: Flowers, Fruits, Figures; March 26th through April 14, 1951, at the Galleries of Scott & Fowles, New York. Exh. cat. New York, March 26th - April 14, 1951. pl. 14.
  • Christian Brinton. Modern Artists. London. pp. iii, opp. 99.
  • Elizabeth Robins Pennell. Whistler the Friend., 1st ed. London and Philadelphia. opp. p. 120.
  • Burns A. Stubbs. Paintings, Pastels, Drawings, Prints, and Copper Plates by and Attributed to American and European Artists, Together with a List of Original Whistleriana, in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 1, no. 2, 2nd edition. Washington, 1967. pl. 30.
  • Albert Gallatin. The Portraits and Caricatures of James McNeill Whistler: An Iconography, with twenty examples, ten hitherto unpublished. London and New York. pp. 11, 25, fig. 32.
  • Albert Gallatin. Portraits of Whistler: A Critical Study and an Iconography. New York. pp. 13, 34, pl. 35.
  • James Laver. Whistler., 2nd ed. London. p. 48.
  • Bridget Alsdorf. Fantin's Failed Toast to Truth. vol. 3 Los Angeles. p.55, fig.16.
  • Linda Merrill. The Peacock Room: A Cultural Biography. Washington and New Haven. p. 74, fig. 1.29.
  • Bridget Alsdorf. Fellow Men: Fantin-Latour and the Problem of the Group in Nineteenth-Century French Painting. Exh. cat. Princeton. p. 146.
  • George H. Boughton. A Few of the Various Whistlers I Have Known. vol. 30 London, December 15, 1903. p. 212.
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 332.
  • Harry Graf Kessler. Whistler. vol. 3 Berlin, August 1905. p. 466.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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