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

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Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean

Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean was painted in 1866, with further details added in 1872, and it may have been touched up in 1892.

1866: it was painted on Whistler's visit to Valparaiso in South America. He spent six months in Chile at the time of a brief confrontation between Chile and Spain. 1 According to Whistler's diary for the trip, he left Southampton on 2 February, arrived in Valparaiso on 12 March, and sailed for England early in September 1866. 2


                Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean, The Frick Collection
Symphony in Grey and Green: The Ocean, The Frick Collection

1872: the foliage and signature were probably added, and the frame made, for exhibition. 3 It was shown in the 6th Winter Exhibition of Cabinet Pictures in Oil, Dudley Gallery, London, 1872 (cat. no. 37) as 'Symphony in grey and green – the Ocean'.

1892: repaired and possibly retouched for the exhibition in Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 15).

Notes:

1: Sutherland 2014 [more] , pp. 95-98.

2: Diary, GUW #04335.

3: An early photograph in the Lucas Collection, Baltimore, signed and inscribed by Whistler about 1881, shows it before these additions.

Last updated: 13th January 2021 by Margaret