Winter Evening

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
Crayon and pastel on brown paper
H x W: 30 x 20.2 cm (11 13/16 x 7 15/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


night, United States, winter

To 1917
Mrs. Louisine Havemeyer (1855-1929), New York to 1917 [1]

From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), given by Mrs. Louisine Havemeyer in 1917 [2]

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


[1] See Accession List, Collections Management office, as well as Original Whistler List, pg. 16, 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
Mrs. Louisine Havemeyer (C.L. Freer source) 1855 - 1929


Many contemporary art critics were perplexed by Whistler's innovative use of pastels. For example, the reviewer for the London Times thought that Whistler's drawings were "far more artistic and interesting" than most pastels, but pedantically insisted that they should not be described as pastels, since "in a true pastel the ground of the picture is entirely covered with the coloured chalk employed, this being generally obtained by making it rough like the surface of fine sand, the use of this being to enable the artist to blend the crude, powdery colour of his crayons, and thus give the soft gradations in light and shade and colour without any distinct outline."
Quotations from "Mr. Whistler's Venice Pastels," Times (London),
February 9, 1881.

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice. Aldershot, Hampshire, England, 2001. p. 27, fig. 27.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler: Uneasy Pieces. Richmond and New York, 2004. p. 225, fig. 6.5.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 265, pl. 258.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum