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drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1982,0227.4

  • Description

    Amsterdam nocturne; dark waters across foreground, on it reflections of lights from beyond. 1883-4 Watercolour, on brown paper

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1883-1884
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 228 millimetres
    • Width: 285 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Verso inscribed: "R"
  • Curator's comments

    See Margaret McDonald, 'JMWhistler, drawings, pastels and watercolours, a catalogue raisonné', 1995, cat.943.

    The following label was written by Kim Sloan for Places of the Mind, 2017:
    Whistler made a handful of watercolours of Amsterdam on his trips to Holland in the summers of 1883 and 1884, mainly depicting the canals at night. They are atmospheric visions of light on water and water merging into light, created by careful but freely-handled dark wet washes, one on top of the other, with delicate touches of white, yellow and blues to suggest the shimmering lights. When shown alongside the simple compositions of land and sky like Blue and brown (hanging opposite) in their original frames in his one man watercolour exhibitions, they looked startlingly modern – delighting some and shocking others.

    See also J. Feather, 'A new 'golden age'? The 'modern' landscape watercolour', in K. Sloan (ed.), Places of the Mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850-1950, (London, 2017), pp. 68-91.

    More 

  • Location

    On display: G90

  • Exhibition history

    1949, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut, 'James McNeill Whistler', no.39
    1976 July 7- Nov 11, Arts Council Travelling Exhibition, 'J A McNeill Whistler', to Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Glasgow University, Glasgow
    1978 27 Aug-8 Oct; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 'Whistler, the Later Years' (Lent by the Art Market, New York)
    1990 April-Aug, BM, 'Treasures of P&D' (no cat.) 1997 Aug-Nov, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 'Whistler and Holland'
    2014 Sep-Nov, Kyoto, National Museum of Modern Art, Whistler Retrospective
    2014-15 Dec-Mar, Yokohama, Museum of Art, Whistler Retrospective
    2017 23 Feb-27 Aug, London, BM, G90, Places of the Mind: British Landscape watercolours 1850-1950

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1982

  • Acquisition notes

    This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era. For full provenance, see McDonald cat.943

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1982,0227.4

Amsterdam nocturne; dark waters across foreground, on it reflections of lights from beyond. 1883-4 Watercolour, on brown paper

Recto

Amsterdam nocturne; dark waters across foreground, on it reflections of lights from beyond. 1883-4 Watercolour, on brown paper

Image description

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