James McNeill Whistler - Eden versus Whistler, 1899

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

Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet & the Butterfly, 1899

Printed ink on paper, 26 x 19.7 cm (10 1/4 x 7 3/4 in.)

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Object details

Accession number

10.b.3.17

Creators

  • James McNeill Whistler (Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834 - 1903, London) - author
  • Louis-Henry May (active Paris, turn of the 20th century) - publisher

Language

English

Publication Place

Paris

Provenance

Gift from James McNeill Whistler to Isabella Stewart Gardner about 1899.

Marks

Inscribed and signed (in ink): To Mrs. Gardner - Whose appreciation of the work of Art is only equalled by her understanding of the Artist! [with butterfly signature]

Bibliography

Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Books from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1906), p. 70.


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Commentary

This book records, in an innovative and entertaining way, a lawsuit between Whistler and Sir William Eden, who had commissioned Whistler to paint a portrait of his wife but would not agree to the artist’s fee. Whistler signed this book with his hallmark butterfly signature and added a brief tribute to Isabella: “To Mrs. Gardner—Whose appreciation of the work of Art is only equalled by her understanding of the Artist!”

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