James McNeill Whistler - A White Note 1861

Rotherhithe, London 1860 The Old Clothes Shop, Houndsditch 1860 The Thames in Ice 1860 A White Note 1861 The Coast of Brittany 1861 Blue and Silver. The Blue Wave Biarritz 1862 Symphony in White no.10. The White Girl Portrait of Joanna Hiffernan 1862
A White Note 1861

A White Note 1861
36x31cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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From Sotheby’s:
The model in this painting is the red-haired Irish girl, Joanna Hifferman, Whistler's companion and mistress whom he used as a model for several pictures in the 1860's. She posed for the celebrated Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (1862, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; also formerly from the J. Harris Whittemore Collection) and Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (1864, Tate Gallery). In another letter to Fantin-Latour dated July of 1861, Whistler described her hair as "d'un rouge non pas doré mais cuivré-comme tout ce qu'on a rêvé de Venitienne!", and further boasted of her looks to Courbet who painted her at least twice. The fact that Whistler did not mention her by name has led art historians to believe that he had only recently met her. A White Note appears to be the first picture he painted of her.