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Study of a Girl's Head and Shoulders

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)

About this artwork

In addition to large-scale portraits, James McNeill Whistler created small-scale likenesses, often on wood panel, as in this painting of a young sitter. A well-known beauty, Olga Caracciolo lived in Dieppe, France, likely where this work was executed, and later married the photographer Adolf de Meyer. Rather than a swift, abbreviated study for a larger composition, Whistler considered a work such as this to be a satisfying aesthetic whole. Indeed, small paintings serve as invitations for an intimate viewing experience and contemplation of the artist’s harmonies of color and form.


On View, Gallery 176


Arts of the Americas


James McNeill Whistler


Study of a Girl's Head and Shoulders


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.

c. 1896–1897


Oil on panel


Signed with the Butterfly


15.5 × 9.5 cm (6 1/8 × 3 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Walter S. Brewster Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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