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Symphony in White, No. III

Photo credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Notes

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Whistler inscribed a musical title on this canvas to describe a painting of two young women dressed in white. The artist chose the term ‘Symphony’ to emphasise to visitors to the Royal Academy’s exhibition in 1867 that it was purely a study in colour. Whistler felt that Victorian artists were distracted by a love of narrative from their proper artistic concern with form and colour. Details such as the flowers were therefore added only for their decorative qualities.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Birmingham


Date

1865–1867

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 51.4 x W 76.9 cm

Accession number

39.24

Acquisition method

purchased, 1939

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

Inscribed, signed and dated: Symphony in White, No. III.- Whistler. 1867- [the figure written over a 5]


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Normally on display at

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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