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

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Crepuscule in Opal: Trouville

Provenance

  • By 1892: Frederick Jameson (1839-1916) , London;
  • After 1905: sold to Alexander Arnold Hannay (1858-1927) ;
  • 1923: sold through Scott & Fowles, New York, to Florence Scott Libbey and given to the Toledo Museum of Art.

The artist Frederick Jameson may have acquired it 1868/1869, when Whistler was staying with him in Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury (see Symphony in White, No. 3 [YMSM 061], The Three Girls [YMSM 088]). It was sold by Jameson, probably soon after 1905, to A. Arnold Hannay, and sold by him through Scott & Fowles to Florence Scott Libbey, wife of the founder of the Toledo Museum of Art, who gave it to the Museum in 1923.

Exhibitions

  • 1892: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 39) as 'Crepuscule in Opal'.
  • 1905: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 140) as 'Crepuscule in Opal, Trouville'.

Whistler wrote to Frederick Jameson (1839-1916), on 14 January 1892:

'I have been greatly pleased to hear ... that you are always fond of the little Trouville Nocturne, or rather Crepuscule - Well, I long to see it again - I want you to lend it to me, that I may see that it is in perfect condition … and then I want the picture for an exhibition I am to have this spring - at Goupil's - in March.' 1

Curiously, Whistler again called Jameson's picture a 'Nocturne' in a letter to D. C. Thomson on 14 February 1892, when the picture was being cleaned and reframed. 2 However, 'crepuscule' seems a better description.

Whistler maliciously chose a particularly appropriate review as commentary on this painting in the entry for the Goupil catalogue in 1892. It came from the Artist, and ended, 'We want not always the blotches and misty suggestions of the impressionist.' 3

After the show, Whistler wanted to borrow the painting again for exhibition in Munich, but it was not sent. 4

Notes:

1: [14 January 1892], GUW #10825.

2: GUW #08216.

3: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 39).

4: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [1/8 April 1892], GUW #08210.

Last updated: 1st December 2020 by Margaret