James McNeill Whistler - The Little Note in Yellow and Gold, 1886

James McNeill Whistler (Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834 - 1903, London, England)

The Little Note in Yellow and Gold, 1886

Chalk and pastel on brown paper , 27 x 14 cm (10 5/8 x 5 1/2 in.)


This small pastel is a portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner.  Gardner and James McNeill Whistler enjoyed a long relationship that began as patron and artist, but gradually grew into a warm friendship. Author Henry James introduced the two in 1879, while the Gardners were in London with their three nephews. Isabella sat for this portrait in 1886 and over the next several years, acquired more of his works.  Four of these are on display in the Veronese Room. As a symbol of their friendship, Whistler gave Gardner his bamboo walking stick which she displayed in the Sargent / Whistler Case in the Long Gallery.