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

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Copy after Ziegler's 'La Vision de St Luc'


  • 1857: commissioned by Charles Phelps Williams (1804-1879), of Stonington, Connecticut;
  • 1858: sent to C. P. Williams in Stonington;
  • 1879: bequeathed to his wife, Georgia Palmer Babcock (Mrs C. P. Williams) (1837–1910);
  • 1910: passed by family descent to their nephew, Henry ('Harry') Saltenstall Babcock (1882-1949), also of Stonington;
  • 1939: sold through A. R. Blanchard, agent, to Benjamin Flayderman (1896-1975) on 9 December 1939;
  • 1975: bequeathed to his son, E. Norman Flayderman (1928-2013), an arms and militaria dealer;
  • 2005: bought by Warren Adelson (n/a), New York art dealer;
  • 2010: given by Warren Adelsen to the Hunterian, University of Glasgow, in honour of Margaret F. MacDonald. 1

Whistler's account of his commission from C. P. Williams is as follows:

'Then in Paris, when I was first studying, Captain Williams from Stonington; Stonington Bill they called him, got me to paint his portrait, and then gave me a commission to copy as many pictures as I chose for twenty-five dollars a piece, and I copied a picture, I cannot remember whom it was by, of a snow scene, with a horse and a soldier standing by it and another in the snow at his feet; a second of St. Luke, with his halo and draperies; a third of a woman holding up a child toward a barred window and a man seen looking through the bars; and a fourth of an inundation. I have no doubt I made something very interesting out of them. There were very wonderful things even then, the beginning of harmonies and purple schemes. I suppose it must have been intuitive. … Probably all these are still at Stonington and are shown as wonderful things by Whistler!' 2


No exhibitions are recorded.


1: W. Adelson to P. Robertson, 17 September and 4 October 2010, quoted in P. Robertson 2010 [more], at p. 11.

2: Pennell 1921C [more], p. 171.

Last updated: 25th November 2020 by Margaret