Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Florence Leyland

Title: Mrs Val Prinsep
Birthname: Leyland
Nationality: English
Date of birth: 2 September 1859
Place of birth: Liverpool
Date of death: 22 July 1921
Category: sitter, collector


Florence Leyland was the second oldest daughter of Frederick Richard Leyland and Frances Leyland. She had one brother, Frederick Dawson Leyland, and two sisters, Fanny being the oldest, Elinor the youngest. Florence married the artist Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904) in 1884 and together they had three sons.


The Leyland daughters frequently posed to Whistler in the 1870s. Florence Leyland appears in a number of pastel drawings dating from 1873/5, casually posed within interior settings in frilly dresses, including Portrait of Miss Florence Leyland m0509, Florence Leyland in a green and orange dress m0523, Florence Leyland in a purple dress m0524, Florence Leyland seated m0525 and Head of Florence Leyland m0526. Whistler also completed a drypoint of her around 1872, showing her in short skirts and with a hoop, Florence Leyland [136].

Whistler was further commissioned by F. R. Leyland to paint his daughter's portrait, Portrait of Miss Florence Leyland y107, possibly in November 1871 when Whistler was staying at Speke Hall, but Whistler completed the portrait using Maud Franklin as model, following a quarrel with F. R. Leyland.

At her father's death in 1892, Florence Leyland came into possession of both Arrangement in Black: Portrait of F. R. Leyland y097 and Portrait of Miss Florence Leyland y107.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980 ; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995 .

Florence Prinsep,