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

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The Little White Sofa


Several possible titles have been suggested:

  • Possibly 'Resting' (1898, Goupil). 1
  • 'A Girl' (1899, A Loan Collection of Modern Paintings, Dublin). 2
  • 'The Little White Sofa' (1905, ISSPG). 3
  • 'Le petit sopha blanc. – The Little White Sofa' (1905, Paris). 4
  • 'Girl on a White Sofa' and 'Girl in Yellow Lying on a White Couch' (date unknown, Fogg Art Museum). 5
  • 'The Little White Sofa' (1980, YMSM). 6

'The Little White Sofa' is the preferred title.


                    The Little White Sofa, Fogg Art Museum
The Little White Sofa, Fogg Art Museum

A study of a draped model lying on a sofa, in horizontal format. She wears a pale yellow robe and an orange cap or scarf, edged with a grey ribbon, on her head. There is a suggestion of white flowers and green leaves pinned to her hair or to the cap at right. The sofa is white. Some pale grey-blue material with a few flecks of orange on it is thrown over the back of the sofa, with a white fan lying on it, along the top. The model's face is tilted down, and rests on her left hand.




1: A Collection of Selected Works by Painters of the English, French & Dutch Schools, Goupil Gallery, London, 1898 (cat. no. 23).

2: A Loan Collection of Modern Paintings, Leinster Hall, Dublin, 1899 (cat. no. 81).

3: 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. 98).

4: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 53).

5: Fogg Art Museum website at

6: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 258).

Last updated: 18th December 2020 by Margaret