Study for "Arrangement in Black, No. 2: Portrait of Mrs. Louis Huth" (recto); Study for "Symphony in Flesh Color and Pink: Portrait of Mrs. Frances Leyland" (verso)

A work made of pastel (recto), and black chalk with touches of pink and white pastel (verso), on brown wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pastel (recto), and black chalk with touches of pink and white pastel (verso), on brown wove paper.

Date:

c. 1872

Artist:

James McNeill Whistler
American, 1834-1903

About this artwork

Whistler created this sketch in preparation for a large-format painting. Made around the same time as the portrait of his mother, this drawing shows its subject, Mrs. Louis Huth, standing in front of a patterned textile and oriented to the viewer nearly in full profile. We know from a letter that Anna Whistler wrote late in 1871 that she tried to model for her son in a standing position but found it too physically demanding. No similar preparatory study for the painting survives; since Whistler lived with his mother, he had little need of a memory aid sketch like this one. He could paint his model directly from life any day of the week, except Sundays, when she demurred for religious observance.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

James McNeill Whistler

Title

Study for "Arrangement in Black, No. 2: Portrait of Mrs. Louis Huth" (recto); Study for "Symphony in Flesh Color and Pink: Portrait of Mrs. Frances Leyland" (verso)

Origin

United States

Date

1867–1877

Medium

Pastel (recto), and black chalk with touches of pink and white pastel (verso), on brown wove paper

Inscriptions

Signed recto, right, in black chalk: [artist's butterfly monogram]; inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "8 ⅞ x 4 (illegible)" (upside down); inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "R5307" (upside down); inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "32.211" (upside down)

Dimensions

229 x 123 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Walter S. Brewster

Reference Number

1933.211

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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