Obach & Co., London, to 1907 
From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Obach & Co. in 1907 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See List of Whistler Purchases Since Making Up the Smithsonian Inventory, pg. 5, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 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)
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919
Obach & Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Two preliminary sketches precede the final version of this Rouleu vase, clumsily described in the Thompson catalogue as cylindrical vase, with thick neck. The elegant vase stood 18" tall and was probably an 18th-century piece. Prunus branches decorate the vase--these were popularly called hawthorne blossoms during the 1870's. One of Whistler's sketches is awkward in outline, executed on blue paper in gray and blue wash heightened with white. The other has a midline that helps establish the balanced symmetry of the form. In the final version Whistler eliminated most of the shadowy still life background and titled the vase slightly forward, emphasizing its undercut foot and strong silhouette. It was drawn with light-colored ink before the dark background was filled in using a rich wash that left the prunus blossoms in reserve as they would have been on the original porcelain.
- Published References
- Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
- Albert Gallatin. Whistler: notes and footnotes and other memoranda. New York. p. 39.
- David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 173, pl. 84.
- Collection Area(s)
- American Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum