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

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Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow

Technique


                    Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow, Freer Gallery of Art
Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow, Freer Gallery of Art

It is painted thinly and evenly on a broad weave canvas, which is roughly equivalent to the French 'toile de I2' (46 x 61 cm) in size. Areas have been rubbed to mute changes of tone, but the outlines of buildings were lightly clarified with long, fluid brushstrokes. The railings in the left foreground were painted with thin, creamy paint after the rest had dried.

Conservation History

According to the Freer Gallery files, yellowed varnish was removed in 1921, it was relined and resurfaced in 1925, cleaned and resurfaced in 1949, and revarnished in 1951.

Frame

1875/1878: the style and whereabouts of the original frame – possibly a painted, decorated frame – are unknown.


                    Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow, Freer Gallery of Art
Nocturne: Trafalgar Square – Snow, Freer Gallery of Art

1892: Grau Whistler frame. Framed by Frederick Henry Grau (1859-1892) for Whistler's retrospective at Goupil's in 1892. The signature of 'F. H. Grau, London' is on the verso.

Last updated: 23rd November 2020 by Margaret