Several possible titles have been suggested:
'Gold and Brown' is the preferred title.
A half-length portrait of the artist, in three-quarter view to right. His left hand, spread wide, is stretched forward at lower right; the right hand is barely visible at lower left. He wears a black jacket, against a dark brown background. The red ribbon of the Légion d'Honneur is visible in his button-hole. He has a moustache and wavy hair, with a white lock of hair visible above his forehead. The portrait is in vertical format.
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) told Holker Welch Abbott (1858-1930) of the Boston Memorial Exhibition Committee that this was the portrait 'Whistler wanted to be remembered by.' 5
Whistler was awarded the cross of Chevalier de l'ordre National de la Légion d'honneur in 1889 and was promoted to Officier in 1892: the red ribbon in Whistler's button-hole is the mark of this distinction. 6
1: Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, Knightsbridge, London, 1898 1898 (cat. no. 179).
2: Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, Copley Society, Boston, 1904 (cat. no. 1).
3: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 29).
5: Holker Abbott to J. Pennell, 31 March 1904, LC PC.
Last updated: 13th November 2020 by Margaret