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

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Portrait of Maud Franklin

Portrait of Maud Franklin dates from 1886. 1

On 1 July 1886 Malcolm Charles Salaman (1855-1940) wrote that recently he had seen a painting 'almost ready for exhibition' in Whistler's studio:

'[A] full length figure of a girl in an out-door black dress, with a fur cape and a becoming hat trimmed with flowers. The face is daintily pretty and piquant and the grace and spontaneity of the attitude are charming. She stands against a dark background ... The painting of the head is as refined and beautiful a piece of work as I have ever seen.' 2

Whistler and Portrait of Maud Franklin, photograph, GUL Whistler PH1/120
Whistler and Portrait of Maud Franklin, photograph, GUL Whistler PH1/120

Salaman's description fits a painting in the background of a photograph of Whistler in his Fulham Road studio, dating from 1886/1888, now in the Whistler Collection in Glasgow University Library. 3

The artist Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942) wrote that he had seen Whistler at work on several portraits of 'Maud' ̶ Maud Franklin (1857-1939) ̶ which were probably Portrait of Maud Franklin [YMSM 353], Harmony in Black, No. 10 [YMSM 357], and Maud [YMSM 358]. 4


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 353).

2: Salaman 1886 B [more].

3: Another copy of the photograph is in the Library of Congress: Sutton 1966 B [more], repr. f.p. 185.

4: Sickert, Walter R., ‘Where Paul and I differ’, Art News, No. 14, 10 February 1910, p. 113.

Last updated: 14th October 2020 by Margaret