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

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The Boy in a Cloak

Titles

Only one main title is known:

  • 'The Boy in a Cloak' (1905, Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Paris). 1
  • 'Boy in a Cloak' (1936, University of Glasgow). 2
  • 'The Boy in a Cloak' (1980, YMSM). 3

'The Boy in a Cloak' is the preferred title.

Description


                    The Boy in a Cloak, The Hunterian
The Boy in a Cloak, The Hunterian

A three-quarter length portrait of a boy, in vertical format. He stands in three-quarter view to left, looking at the viewer. He has shoulder-length brown hair, and wears a long dark cloak. He stands against a dark green background.

Sitter

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) of Detroit recorded seeing a portrait, 'Boy in the cloak' in Whistler's studio in 1903. 4 Freer also noted that Whistler had painted another portrait of this 'little boy with fine eyes'; he was also the model for Brun et or: De race [YMSM 511].


                    Brun et or: De race, The Hunterian
Brun et or: De race, The Hunterian

The model's brother and sister also posed for Whistler (The Little Faustina [YMSM 510], Vert et or: Le Raconteur [YMSM 513]). There is a strong family resemblance, particularly in their sallow colouring and the soft brown of the hair and eyes.

Notes:

1: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 35).

2: James McNeill Whistler, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1936 (cat. no. 25).

3: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 512).

4: [1903], Diaries, Bk 13, Freer Gallery Archives.

Last updated: 25th November 2020 by Margaret