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

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White and Grey: La Cour de l'hôtel, Dieppe

Titles

Various possible titles have been suggested:

  • 'White and grey – La cour de l'Hotel, Dieppe' (1886, Dowdeswell). 1
  • 'Gris & argent, Hotel Dieppe' (1887, Whistler). 2
  • 'Gris et argent – Dieppe (Hotel)' (1888, Whistler). 3
  • 'Grau und Silber: Hotel Dieppe' (1888, III. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Munich). 4
  • 'Grey and Silver – Hotel Yard – Dieppe' (1889, Wunderlich). 5
  • 'The Laundry' (1900, A. J. McN. Reid). 6
  • 'Courtyard House in Dieppe' (1902, Whistler). 7
  • 'Trouville – Blue and Silver' [sic] (1903, Way & Dennis). 8
  • 'Trouville: Blue and Silver' (1904, Menpes). 9
  • 'White and Grey: La Cour de l'hôtel, Dieppe' (1980, YMSM). 10
  • 'White and Grey: Courtyard, House in Dieppe' (2015, Fogg) 11

The original title is more appropriate than the 'Trouville - Blue and Silver' initiated by Way & Dennis, for the only blue in the picture is the dress of one woman and the picture was certainly not painted at Trouville. 'White and Grey: La Cour de l'hôtel, Dieppe' is the preferred title.

Description


                    White and Grey: La Cour de l'hôtel, Dieppe, Fogg Art Museum
White and Grey: La Cour de l'hôtel, Dieppe, Fogg Art Museum

J. J. Cowan described it to Whistler as 'House front ... quiet greys & greens - woman apparently washing clothes to left outside', and Whistler identified it as 'Courtyard House in Dieppe.' 12

It shows a house front in vertical format, painted parallel to the frame. In the foreground at left are women in white aprons sorting or washing clothes. The ground floor and part of the first floor windows (which have railings) are shown, the one on the left cut off by the edge of the panel. The ground floor has broad arched windows with small panes, the one at right with a central door opening into a dark narrow passage. Some foliage is climbing up the wall between these two windows.

Site

The town of Dieppe, a port and tourist destination on the French coast. Whistler identified the painting as 'Courtyard House in Dieppe' 13 The site was recorded as Trouville for some years from 1903 but this was incorrect.

Notes:

1: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 46).

2: Whistler to R. Koehler, [June 1888], GUW #04202.

3: List, [June 1888], GUW #04203.

4: III. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1888 (cat. no. 61).

5: “Notes” – “Harmonies” – “Nocturnes”, H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, 1889 (cat. no. 30).

6: Information given by A. J. McN. Reid, GUL.

7: Note on letter from J. J. Cowan to Whistler, 25-26 February 1901, GUW #00743.

8: Way & Dennis 1903 [more] , repr. f.p. 64.

9: Menpes 1904 A [more] , repr. f.p. 94.

10: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 325).

11: Harvard Art Museums website at http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/230330.

12: Whistler note on letter from Cowan to Whistler, 25-26 February 1901, GUW #00743.

13: 25-26 February 1901, GUW #00743.

Last updated: 21st November 2020 by Margaret