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Green and Blue: The Dancer

Pale watercolor drawing of young dancer in long sheer dress.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Pale watercolor drawing of young dancer in long sheer dress.


c. 1893


James McNeill Whistler
American, 1834-1903

About this artwork

Inspired by Greek sculpture and Japanese prints, James McNeill Whistler became entranced with portraying the female form clad in diaphanous drapery in the 1890s. He developed this theme in all the media in which he worked, including transfer lithography, oil, pastel, and watercolor. The artist usually provided garments for his models to wear, often classical gossamer gowns with high waists and crossed bodices paired with brightly colored kerchiefs. His models needed a certain degree of strength and agility, as he sometimes asked them to dance about his studio until he found a suitable pose. In Green and Blue: The Dancer, Whistler employed thin watercolor washes to distill the graceful movements of his lissome young model. The brown paper on which he painted lends opacity to the washes, thereby adding subtle weight to the thin veils of fabric draping the figure.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


James McNeill Whistler


Green and Blue: The Dancer


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Watercolor and opaque watercolor over traces of black chalk on brown wove paper laid down on card


Inscribed, verso, lower right, in black ink: "8"


27.5 × 18.3 cm (10 7/8 × 7 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Dr. William D. Shorey; through prior acquisitions of the Charles Deering Collection and through prior bequest of Mrs. Gordon Palmer

Reference Number


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