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

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Note in Red and Violet: Nets


Only one title is known, with variations in grammar and punctuation:

  • 'Note in red and violet – Nets' (1884, Dowdeswell). 1
  • 'A Note in Red and Violet: Nets' (1904, RSA). 2
  • 'Note in Red and Violet' (1905, ISSPG). 3
  • 'A Note in Red and Violet' (1914, Knoedler). 4
  • 'Note in Red and Violet: Nets' (1980, YMSM). 5

'Note in Red and Violet: Nets' is the preferred title, conforming to other titles.


                    Note in Red and Violet: Nets, Private collection
Note in Red and Violet: Nets, Private collection

A beach scene, with many figures, in horizontal format. Two figures are mending fishing nets on the shore. A small child in a red cloak stands in the lower right foreground. In the distance, the sea is blue, with waves breaking on the shore. A small fishing boat is very close to the shore, just to left of centre.


St Ives, Cornwall. E. L. Cary stated that 'Miss Constance Halford writes that she thinks this picture was painted at St. Ives, in Cornwall.' 6

A photograph in the Library of Congress (PC) is inscribed 'Pourville' in the hand of Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), but stylistically it is much more likely to have been painted at St Ives in 1884 than at Pourville in 1899 (see The Sea, Pourville, No. 1 [YMSM 516]).


1: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884 (cat. no. 24).

2: 78th Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1904 (cat. no. 307).

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. 77).

4: Oils, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings by J. McN. Whistler, Knoedler & Co., New York, 1914 (cat. no. 8).

5: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 269).

6: Cary 1907[more] , p. 220 (cat. no. 427).

Last updated: 9th March 2020 by Margaret