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

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Green and pearl - La plage, Dieppe


  • 1903: in Whistler's studio at his death and bequeathed to his sister-in-law, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) ;
  • 1943: sold by her as 'A Beach in Brittany' to Colnaghi's, London dealers, 2 February;
  • 1943: on 1 April, sold by Colnaghi's to Mrs Frances L. Evans, Oxfordshire, who owned it until at least 1960.
  • 1972: sold at auction, Christie's, London, 19 May 1972 (lot 37, repr.) and bought by John Baskett for Paul Mellon (1907-1999) , Washington DC;
  • 1991: given by Mr and Mrs Mellon to the National Gallery of Art in honour of its 50th anniversary.

See further details in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 1025).


  • 1886: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 29) as 'Green and pearl – La Plage, Dieppe'.
  • 1888: possibly III. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1888 (cat. no. 28) as 'Grau und Gold: Trouville'.
  • 1889: “Notes” – “Harmonies” – “Nocturnes”, H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, 1889 (cat. no. 20) as 'Grey and Gold – The Beach – Trouville'.

In its review of the Wunderlich exhibition, the New York Times did not specifically name this painting but the art critic praised 'the most delightful little impressions of sea beaches covered with crowds or dotted with single figures'. 1

It was priced at 35 guineas in 1889, but remained unsold, and was returned after the exhibition by Wunderlich's on the SS Servia. 2


1: Anon., 'Etchings, Drawings, Pastels', New York Times, New York, 3 March 1889, p. 5.

2: G. Dieterlen, H. Wunderlich & Co., Wunderlich to Whistler, 1 November 1889, GUW #07187.

Last updated: 2nd June 2021 by Margaret