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

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Portrait of Miss Marion Peck


One title has been suggested:

  • 'Portrait of Miss Marion Peck' (1980, YMSM). 1


Study for a portrait of Miss Marion Peck, The Hunterian
Study for a portrait of Miss Marion Peck, The Hunterian

The Pennells described it as 'a large full length ... painted standing, in evening dress, with her long white green lined cloak thrown back ... the colour was a harmony in silver and green.' 2 Actually, it may not have been a large full length, for the original price, £400, is less than the price of 600 guineas Whistler received for a small full-length like Arrangement in Grey and Green: Portrait of J. J. Cowan [YMSM 402]. Indeed Whistler defined the prices as follows:

'For a full length portrait - such as you saw going on in the studio - a thousand guineas -

For a smaller picture - such as the one Miss Peck remembers having seen at the Salon - the portrait of Mrs Sickert in blue - six hundred and fifty guineas -

This might be either a seated figure like Mrs Sickert - or standing full length - in which case the canvas would be of course of another shape & taller -

For a little portrait, like the small one you saw on the easel when you came in - a lady seated on a sofa, if you remember - is brown & gold - : three hundred guineas.' 3

On the other hand, Whistler did tell E. G. Kennedy on 27 April 1895, 'I am painting a portrait of a Chicago beauty - so that will be another full length for that "Lake front" city!' 4

Probably after the final sittings, on 7 April 1900, Whistler wrote to Mrs Farquhar:

'I always see you the same wonderful and beautiful Lady surrounded with the gold & mystery of the Venetian Gallery from which you have just stepped into my studio.' 5


Marion Peck (Mrs W. R. Farquhar) (1872-1942). Marion, the eldest daughter of Harold Stanton Peck of the U.S. Navy, married William Richman Farquhar (1860-1952), third son of Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar of Aberdeenshire.


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 439).

2: Pennell 1908 [more], vol. 2, p. 157.

3: Whistler to Mrs Peck, [10/20 March 1895], GUW #09358.

4: GUW #09725.

5: GUW #10647.

Last updated: 3rd January 2021 by Margaret