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

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Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs

Composition


                    Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs, photograph, GUL Whistler PH4/26
Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs, photograph, GUL Whistler PH4/26

                    Harmony in Crimson and Brown, Private collection
Harmony in Crimson and Brown, Private collection

                    Sketch of "Harmony in Crimson and Brown", Colby College Museum of Art
Sketch of "Harmony in Crimson and Brown", Colby College Museum of Art

The first drawing of the composition, Harmony in Crimson and Brown [M.0853], dating from about 1881, matches the composition of the portrait as shown in the undated photograph of it. The later drawing, Sketch of 'Harmony in Crimson and Brown' [M.0993], dating from 1884, shows a slightly different costume, suggesting a jacket over a dress rather than a full length fur cloak.

Technique


                    Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs, photograph, GUL Whistler PH4/26
Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs, photograph, GUL Whistler PH4/26

It appears to have been thinly and evenly painted, but it is difficult to judge from the sole photograph.

'A caricature of Whistler painting simultaneously his three portraits of Lady Meux', by Charles Hallam Elton Brookfield (1857-1913), was published in The Graphic, 25 March 1911; his illustration of Portrait of Lady Meux in Furs was based on Whistler's drawing Sketch of 'Harmony in Crimson and Brown' [M.0993], which was then owned by Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929). 1

Conservation History

Unknown. It was probably destroyed.

Frame

Unknown.

Notes:

1: 'The Lost Lady: What became of a Whistler', The Graphic, 25 March 1911, p. 18.

Last updated: 14th November 2020 by Margaret