A WOMAN IN HER CHEMISE
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, circa 1858
Ink on paper, 6 7/8 X 4 in. (17.5 X 10.2 cm)
In fine condition aside from pale staining and minor foxing. In a letter dated November 17, 2006, Margaret MacDonald states, ‘I was very glad…to see the double-sided pen drawing of a young woman and confirm that it is, in my opinion, by James McNeill Whistler. It is a charming drawing done with a very fine pen, and resembles sketches done during Whistler’s early years in Paris, such as ‘Reclining Lady’ (private collection, MacDonald 214).
N.B. Drawing does not appear in the MacDonald catalogue raisonné, “James McNeill Whistler Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours”. A signed letter by Dr. MacDonald on University of Glasgow letterhead accompanies this drawing attesting to its authenticity.
It looks as if it was drawn from life, and records an intimate scene, showing a woman in her chemise, shoulders bare, half-dressed. Whistler’s mistress destroyed many of his early Parisian drawings, so this is a rare survival. I would date it to around 1857-1858.’