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ID number:  BIRBI-39.24
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (1834-1903)
Title / Object name:  Symphony in White, No. III
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  British
Date made:  about 1865/7
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  51.4 x 76.9 cm
BIRBI-39.24.jpg

This beautiful and evocative picture was begun in 1865 (the date originally painted on the canvas), and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1867. It was the first picture to be shown by the artist under a musical title - an innovation which led to a celebrated controversy between Whistler and the art critic, P. G. Hamerton. On the sofa is Joanna Hiffernan, Whistler's mistress and model. Subject and technique reflect Whistler's friendship with Albert Moore, while the fan reminds us of the contemporary fashion for Japanese art, evident also in Rossetti's Blue bower.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed, signed and dated I.I.: Symphony in White, No. III.-Whistler. 1867-[the figure 7 written over a 5]

Notes:  Exhibited: 'The Cult of Beauty', Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2 April - 17 July 2011

1 Related People

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill
British
1834
1903

4 Related Publications

Japonisme in Britain, Whistler, Menpes, Henry, Hornel and nineteenth-century Japan
Ono, Ayako
RoutlegdeCurzon
2003
Nineteenth-Century British Music Studies
Jeremy Dibble and Bennett Zon
Ashgate
2002
Twin Passions
Esposito, Donato
British Museum Friends
2004
French Art in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Morris, E
Yale University Press
2005
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