James McNeill Whistler (Amer./Brit.,1834-1903)
Portrait Of His Mother
1871/1905. Photogravure, text with date “1905”, title and artist in plate above and below image, publisher’s blind stamp in lower margin, 41.2 x 46.6cm (image). Slight scuffs to image with small white marks to edges, slight foxing, tears and creases to margins.
“London & Washington, by the Fine Arts Publishing Co. Ltd, Charing Cross
House, London. Printed in England.” Stamp reads “Burlington Proof, Fine Arts
Publishing Co. Ltd. ”
Whistler’s painting Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, colloquially known as Whistler’s Mother, was purchased by France in 1891. The painting went on tour in the USA during the Great Depression and the image of the “stoic mother” became an inspiration to the American people. Soon after seeing the painting in 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was so impressed that he designed a Mother’s Day stamp using the image, taking the painting to iconic status.
Educated and well-travelled, Anna Matilda (née McNeill) Whistler (1804-1881) was reputedly chosen as the subject of the painting by default due to the original sitter becoming unavailable. It is also believed that Whistler began preparatory studies with his 67-year-old mother standing, but as she had been ill the pose proved too tiring. At the time Whistler and his mother were living in Chelsea in London.
Whistler’s mother was married to George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), a prominent civil engineer who was the first to equip steam locomotives with whistles. After her husband’s death, she wore black for the rest of her life. Ref: NGV; Wiki. Item #CL184-30
Price (AUD): 2450