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

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The Golden Lily (Green and Gold: The Little Green Cap)

Green and Gold: The Little Green Cap probably dates from 1901. 1

Lilian ('Lily') Pamington (b. 1887/1888) was posing for Whistler for various painting between 1899 and 1901. It was probably in 1901 that Whistler sent her to his dentist, saying, 'I depend upon this pretty child - little Lillie Pamington - "The Golden Lillie" - for the making of my pictures' and begging him to stop her pain 'at once by your magic.' 2

This portrait was first exhibited in that year, at the 3rd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, Galleries of the Royal Institute, London, 1901 (cat. no. 35) as 'The Golden Lily'.

                Green and Gold: The Little Green Cap, Freer Gallery of Art
Green and Gold: The Little Green Cap, Freer Gallery of Art

In June 1902 Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) of Detroit noted buying ' "The Little Green Cap" ' but leaving it in Whistler's studio for further work. 3


1: Dated '1896/1901' in YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 467).

2: Whistler to W. S. Davenport, [1901], formerly dated [1897/1900], GUW #09072.

3: [1902], Diaries, Bk 12, Freer Gallery Archives; GUW #13803. 'Memorandum of Payments Made to J. McNeill Whistler, June 16th, 1902', dated 25 August 1902, FGA Art Inventories, cited in Merrill 1995 [more] , p. 165 n. 10, fig. 42.

Last updated: 21st November 2020 by Margaret