Cylindrical vase with thick neck

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)
Historical period(s)
1876
Medium
Pencil, ink, and wash on cream wove paper
Dimensions
H x W: 20.5 x 14.1 cm (8 1/16 x 5 9/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1907.174
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
flower, porcelain, United States
Provenance

To 1907
Obach & Co., London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Obach & Co. in 1907 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See List of Whistler Purchases Since Making Up the Smithsonian Inventory, pg. 5, 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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919
Obach & Co. (C.L. Freer source)

Label

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 RaisonnĂ©. 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

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