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

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Rose and Brown: La Cigale

Provenance

  • 1899: bought from Whistler by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) , Detroit;
  • 1919: bequeathed by C. L. Freer to the Freer Gallery of Art.

On 29 July 1899 Whistler wrote to Freer, 'I am glad you have the little "Cigale".' 1 Whistler would not accept payment at that time; Freer recorded the purchase on 31 August 1899, and eventually paid Whistler £420 in May 1902. 2

Exhibitions

  • 1899: 2nd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1899 (cat. no. 137) as 'Rose and Brown – La Cigale'.
  • 1901: possibly Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galeries George Petit, Paris, 1901 as 'Rose et Or – La Cigale'.
  • 1903: Seventy-second Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1903 (cat. no. 1).
  • 1904: Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, Copley Society, Boston, 1904 (cat. no. 79).

                    Plan of a panel of pictures for the ISSPG, Tate Archive, London
Plan of a panel of pictures for the ISSPG, Tate Archive, London

                    Paintings at the ISSPG, Glasgow University Library
Paintings at the ISSPG, Glasgow University Library

Whistler took great care over the hanging of his own panel of pictures at the ISSPG in 1899. A sketch sent to John Lavery (1856-1941), Plan of a panel of pictures for the ISSPG [M.1582], shows the hanging scheme suggested to include Purple and Gold: Phryne the Superb! - Builder of Temples [YMSM 490], which in the end was not shown, and Blue and Silver: Trouville [YMSM 066], Nocturne: Black and Gold - Rag Shop, Chelsea [YMSM 204], Rose and Brown: La Cigale [YMSM 495], Rose and Gold: The Little Lady Sophie of Soho [YMSM 504], and Violet and Rose: Carmen qui rit [YMSM 506], which were shown. He sketched another possible arrangement in another drawing, Paintings at the ISSPG [M.1583].

Whistler wrote in February 1901 asking Freer to lend it for a proposed exhibition in Paris in the following year, and he agreed, saying, ' "La Cigale" … will smile benignly upon all.' 3 'Rose et Or – La Cigale' is listed in a letter from Jean Jacques Rousseau (1861-1911) to Whistler on 26 November 1901, regarding the forthcoming exhibition, Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galeries George Petit, Paris, 1901. 4


                    Panel of four pictures, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections
Panel of four pictures, Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

Whistler sketched a possible arrangement of his exhibits in a drawing, Panel of four pictures [M.1703], but it is not absolutely clear if it was in fact exhibited.

By the terms of C. L. Freer's bequest to the Freer Gallery of Art, the painting cannot be lent.

Notes:

1: GUW #03196.

2: Whistler to C. Anderson, [10/15 August 1899], GUW #00793; GUW #11702; Freer to Whistler, 27 June 1900, GUW #01518; Freer's account, [23 March 1900/June 1902], GUW #11672.

3: Whistler to Freer, 10 February 1901, GUW #03190; Freer to Whistler, 6 March 1901, GUW #01522.

4: GUW #05253.

Last updated: 5th June 2021 by Margaret