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Intaglio Prints

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Florence Leyland

8 3/8 x 5 3/8 in. (21.2 x 13.6 cm)

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
American (1834 - 1903)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Drypoint
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James Sibley Watson Jr.
Accession Number: 1931.36
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Location: Not currently on view

One of James McNeill Whistler’s great patrons was British shipping magnate and art collector, Frederick Leyland (1832-1892) whose wife and four children were the subjects of numerous drawings, prints, and painted portraits by the artist. Much of what is known of Whistler’s relationship with this family is through letters from his mother, who not infrequently tried her best to smoothe over disagreements between her dilatory son and the impatient Leyland.

Whistler’s regular visits to Speke Hall (the Leyland family’s estate near Liverpool, England) brought him into frequent contact with the children, who posed for him many times. Look for the phrase “I am Flo” to the right of the figure of Florence, the youngest, who is holding a hoop – perhaps an inside joke, a reference to the fact that there were three Leyland daughters who may have been regularly confused with each other!

[Gallery label text, 2009]

General references: Edward G. Kennedy, "The Etched Work of Whistler," New York, The Grolier Club of the City of New York, 1910: p. 40, no. 110 (text volume); Wedmore no. 97. This print is discussed in Frederic Keppel's The Golden Age of Engraving, New York: Baker & Taylor, 1910, opp. p. 173.

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