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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
Provenance:  Probably purchased by Louis Huth from the artist, in the collection of Sir Edmund Davies before 1905, J.P.; purchased at the Sir Edmund Davies sale, Christie's, 7 July 1939, Lot no. 100.
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: Royal Academy, 1867 (233); Goupil Gallery, 1892 (2); New Gallery, Memorial Exhibition of the Works of James McNeill Whistler, 1905 (7); New Gallery, 1909 (160); French Gallery, 1915 (6); 'Royal Academy Bicentenary', Royal Academy, London, UK, 14 December 1968 - 02 March 1969; 'James McNeill Whistler', Tate Gallery, London, UK, 12 October 1994 - 08 January 1995; 'America! Stories of Painting from the New World', Musei du Santa Giulia, Brescia, near Milan, Italy, 24 November 2007 - 04 May 2008; 'The Cult of Beauty', Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2 April - 17 July 2011; 'James McNeill Whistler Retrospective', National Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan, 13 September 2014 - 16 November 2014; 'James McNeill Whistler Retrospective', Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, 06 December 2014 - 01 March 2015

1 Related People

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill
British
1834
1903

4 Related Publications

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