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


The Project

Whistler lived from 1834-1903, occupying a pivotal role in the history of 19th century art in Europe and America, and becoming a major influence on early 20th century artists.

His paintings show the influence of various movements including Realism, Impressionism and Symbolism, and artists such as Rembrandt, Velasquez, Ingres, Courbet and Monet. However, there are more surprising connections, for instance in the early copies done by Whistler in the Luxembourg, two of which have been recently discovered (one being Jules-Claude Ziegler's La Vision de St. Luc, now in The Hunterian).

The online catalogue will include approximately 550 oil paintings dating from about 1850 to 1903. All extant works (ca 500) will be reproduced in colour: archival photographs (dating from the 1870s through 1890s) will be mostly in black and white. Picture frames will be illustrated and described where possible. Full documentation will be provided, including all references to the art in Whistler’s letters, with links to the online Correspondence edition. Zoomable details will illustrate technique and condition. High resolution digital images of the paintings will be reproduced, plus related prints and works on paper by Whistler, and also drawings, cartoons and related visual material by other artists, portraits of sitters and pictures of sites.

The catalogue will be fully indexed and cross references, with searches by Freetext, name, institution, exhibition, place, and date. There is a brief introduction, a glossary of terms, chronology, bibliography, and concordance.

The catalogue benefits from much new research on the history of individual works, their dating and exhibition records, and will include quotations and analysis of reviews and contemporary responses to the works, and establish works in context, particularly in relation to the art market in Europe and America in the 19th century.

Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony, 1865, Freer Gallery of  Art, Washington, DC.

Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony, 1865, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.