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

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Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso


Several possible titles have been suggested:

  • 'Twilight At Sea' and 'Twilight on the Ocean' (1867, Salon, Paris). 1
  • 'The Pacific; Harmony in Green and Gold' (1879, Grosvenor). 2
  • 'Harmony in Flesh Colour & Green Valparaiso' (ca 1881, Whistler). 3
  • Possibly 'Valparaiso Twilight' (1886/1887, Whistler). 4
  • 'Marine (harmonie en vert et opale)' (1891, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts). 5
  • 'Dämmerung' (1892, Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Munich). 6
  • 'Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso' (1892, Goupil). 7
  • ' "Valparaiso" evening' (1892, Whistler). 8
  • 'Valparaiso Crepuscule' (1893, Whistler). 9
  • 'Valparaiso Marina' (1899, Esposizione Internazionale, Venice). 10
  • 'Valparaiso, Nocturne' (1905, ISSPG). 11
  • 'Couleur chair et vert. Crépuscule, Valparaiso. – (Crepuscule. Flesh Color and Green. Valparaiso.)' (1905, Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Paris). 12
  • 'Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso' (YMSM, 1980). 13

'Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso' is the preferred title.


                    Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso, Tate Britain
Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso, Tate Britain

A view of a harbour, in horizontal format. The grey/green sea is calm under a darkening blue sky scattered with grey clouds, slightly warmed by a sunset glow. There are half a dozen tall sailing ships with sails spread in the bay, and many more ships are seen in the distance at right, inshore.


Valparaiso, an important port on the coast of Chile, South America. 14

Discussing the political and naval situation at the time, Dr Frances Fowle records:

'We know from contemporary accounts that the Americans sent one iron-clad turreted ship and five steamers, and that the French and British fleets included frigates and gunboats. ... Whistler has depicted mainly sailing ships, some of which have started to unfurl their sails, ready to move towards the open sea. The only clearly visible flag is the French tricolour in the centre of the composition, silhouetted against the gathering violet and purple clouds.' 15


1: 85th exhibition Salon de 1867, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1867, 1st edition (cat. no. 71) and 2nd edition (cat. no. 78).

2: III Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1879 (cat. no. 56).Blackburn 1879 [more] (cat. no. 56).

3: Photograph, G. A. Lucas Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art.

4: List, formerly dated [4/11 January 1892], GUW #06795.

5: 1st exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Champs de Mars, Paris, 1891 (cat. no. 937).

6: VI. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1892 (cat. no. 1950c).

7: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 13).

8: Whistler to E. G. Kennedy, [20 October / 10 November 1892], GUW #09700.

9: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [12 May 1893], GUW #08233.

10: III Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia, Venice, 1899 (cat. no. 59).

11: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 93).

12: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 59).

13: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 73).

14: See Sutherland 2008 [more] .

15: Tate website at

Last updated: 22nd May 2021 by Margaret