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

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Harmony in Black, No. 10

Harmony in Black, No. 10 may have been painted between 1886 and 1887, and was exhibited in 1887.

Detail of At the Whistleries, Suffolk Street, from Judy, 8 December 1886
Detail of At the Whistleries, Suffolk Street, from Judy, 8 December 1886
J. B. Partridge, Caricature of Whistler as Harmony in Black, No. 10, from unidentified press cutting, GUL PC 3, p. 116
J. B. Partridge, Caricature of Whistler as Harmony in Black, No. 10, from unidentified press cutting, GUL PC 3, p. 116

Whistler's butterfly signature (shown in depictions of the painting in the newspaper) was of the type he was using about 1885/1886.

The artist Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942) wrote that he had seen Whistler at work on several portraits of 'Maud'. 1 These would have been portraits of Maud Franklin (1857-ca 1941), probably Portrait of Maud Franklin [YMSM 353], Harmony in Black, No. 10 [YMSM 357] and Maud [YMSM 358].

Harmony in Black, No. 10 was first exhibited in the 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887 (cat. no. 12), and may have been worked on after the exhibition, because when it was shown in Paris later in the year, Claude Phillips (1846-1924) thought it 'in what seemed to be an improved condition'. 2

Notes:

1: Sickert 1910 [more] .

2: C. Phillips 1887 [more] , at p. 423.

Last updated: 30th October 2020 by Margaret