Several possible titles have been suggested:
The preferred title, 'Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow', is based on the 1892 title, with punctuation regularised.
A grey city-scape in horizontal format, showing the right hand corner of a square surrounded by three-storey buildings. There are bare branched trees in the square. In the foreground at left is the corner of a fence, with light shining on the snow behind it. There is a street lamp at right, and a glimpse, beyond the far right corner of the square, of buildings and a tower with lit windows. Lights shine faintly from buildings on the far side of the square, to left.
The scene shows not the well-known Trafalgar Square but another Trafalgar Square, which was off the Fulham Road in Chelsea, London. Curry identified it as the north-west corner of the square, looking towards the New Brompton Road. 10
Musical connections were discussed in, for instance, on the former Freer Gallery of Art website, in Whistler and Music:
'This nocturne, depicting a snow-laden Trafalgar Square in Chelsea, was also in the 1892 exhibition of Whistler's work that Debussy is thought to have seen. Deeply influenced by Whistler's art and thought, Debussy once wrote about his orchestra Nocturnes (1897-99), "It's an experiment, in fact, in finding the different combinations possible inside a single color, as a painter might make a study in gray, for example." The composer's indebtedness to the visual arts is also reflected in the names he gave to many of his other works: images, sketches, estampes (prints), and scenes.' 11
5: Exposition Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Champ-de-Mars, Paris, 1892(cat. no. 1070).
6: 32nd Exhibition of Works of Modern Artists, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Glasgow, 1893 (cat. no. 22).
7: International Exhibition, Glasgow Art Galleries, Glasgow, 1901 (cat. no. 417).
11: 'Images: Whistler and Music: Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano', Freer/Sackler website at http://archive.asia.si.edu, deleted (accessed 2019).
Last updated: 23rd November 2020 by Margaret