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Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl

Photo credit: Tate

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This picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865 as 'The Little White Girl'. It shows a young woman, dressed in white, leaning against a mantelpiece and gazing dreamily into a mirror. She is captured in a moment of deep contemplation. Her face is reflected in the mirror and silhouetted against a seascape, reinforcing the dream-like atmosphere. The reflected image is sad and careworn, and one is tempted to draw some kind of link with the wedding ring so prominently displayed on her left hand. Whistler may also have intended to evoke Velázquez's 'Rokeby Venus' (National Gallery, London), where the reflection of the woman's face is similarly at odds with her own idealised image.

Tate Britain



Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl




Oil on canvas


H 76.5 x W 51.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Arthur Studd 1919

Work type



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Tate Britain

Millbank, London, Greater London SW1P 4RG England

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