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

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Note in pink and purple

Sitter


                    Note in pink and purple, Cincinnati Art Museum
Note in pink and purple, Cincinnati Art Museum

The Topical Times, 24 May 1884, suggested that 'Note in pink and purple' was 'really Lady Archie Campbell, or, at all events, a portion of that lady', and another critic described the picture - incorrectly - as 'an inchoate adumbration of a group'. 1 However, the model was probably Millie Finch (fl. 1875-1885) .

The first owner, Otto Goldschmidt, was obviously uncertain of the sitter's name. On 9 April 1909 he wrote to Whistler's sister-in-law, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), that he owned a watercolour by his 'very dear friend' Whistler, called 'Polly Finch with the fan', and on 23 September 1911 he wrote from Biarritz to Joseph Pennell (1860-1926) that he was having 'Nelly Finch' photographed. 2

Notes:

1: GUL Whistler pc10, p. 57.

2: Letters in Whistler Collection, University of Glasgow, and in E. R. and J. Pennell Collection, Library of Congress.

Last updated: 2nd April 2021 by Margaret