Fan

A large paper folding fan, the top edge scalloped, painted with a ‘night and day’ design; the left hand in ink and colours with a hilly landscape, the right hand side with a gradually overlapping uniform blue night sky. The reverse with scattered butterflies in silver on a pink ground. The guards lacquered red. The fan leaf with a ‘butterfly’ signature of James McNeill Whistler and an autograph musical quotation signed P. de Sarasate.

Historical period(s)
Edo period or Meiji era, 1870-80
Medium
Ink and color on paper with lacquer sticks and guards
Dimensions
H x W: 39.5 x 71.5 cm (15 9/16 x 28 1/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1997.32
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting, Tool and Equipment
Type

Fan

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, landscape, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), mountain, tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

A large paper folding fan, the top edge scalloped, painted with a 'night and day' design; the left hand in ink and colours with a hilly landscape, the right hand side with a gradually overlapping uniform blue night sky. The reverse with scattered butterflies in silver on a pink ground. The guards lacquered red. The fan leaf with a 'butterfly' signature of James McNeill Whistler and an autograph musical quotation signed P. de Sarasate.

Inscription(s)

This fan bears the signatures of the artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and the virtuoso violist and composer Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues (1844-1908). Whistler added his butterfly monogram and Sarasate inscribed a passage of music, presumably from one of his own compositions. These authentic inscriptions make the fan a unique document of the friendship between Sarasate and Whistler and their mutual interest in Japanese objects.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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