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

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Gold and Orange: The Neighbours


Possible titles include:

  • 'Gold and Orange – The Neighbours' (1901, ISSPG). 1
  • 'Rose et or: Les Voisines' (1902, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts). 2
  • 'Neighbours' (1903, T. McLean). 3
  • 'The Neighbours' (1903, Whistler). 4
  • 'Brown & Gold The Neighbours' (1903, anon.). 5
  • 'Gold and Orange: The Neighbours' (1980, YMSM). 6

The original ISSPG title of 1901 'Gold and Orange: The Neighbours' is generally accepted.


                    Gold and Orange: The Neighbours, Freer Gallery of Art
Gold and Orange: The Neighbours, Freer Gallery of Art

A street scene in vertical format. It focusses on the ground floor of a house, with windows either side of a dark door, which has a skylight above it, and the lower part of a balcony above. A woman is just visible standing within the doorway, wearing a white bonnet and apron over a voluminous skirt. Another woman stands on the doorstep, at right, her arms crossed. She is similarly dressed, with a dark greenish-blue scarf at her neck, a white apron over her rosy pink skirt. The women's features are not clear. Several pale pink and dark grey items, possibly clothes or bed-linen, are hung over the balcony to air.






The painting conveys a subdued, intimate realism. Denys Sutton (1917-1991) commented on its 'Mallarméan allusiveness': 'Whistler appears to hint at inner meanings and to provide the stuff for interpretation; thus, a strange hallucinatory atmosphere is suggested by the presence of the two old women.' 7


1: 3rd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, Galleries of the Royal Institute, London, 1901 (cat. no. 34).

2: Douzième Exposition, Ouvrages de Peintures, Sculpture, Dessin, Gravure, Architecture et Objets d'Art, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Grand Palais, Paris, 1902 (cat. no. 1196).

3: Thirty-ninth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Artists of the British and Foreign Schools, Thomas McLean's Gallery, London, 1903 (cat. no. 32).

4: Whistler to Mrs E. K. Johnson, 1 February 1903, GUW #09891.

5: GUL Whistler BP II Ledger c, p. 164.

6: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 423).

7: Sutton 1966 B [more] , repr. pl. 101.

Last updated: 12th November 2020 by Margaret