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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.
oil on canvas
H 51.4 x W 76.9 cm
Inscribed, signed and dated: Symphony in White, No. III.- Whistler. 1867- [the figure written over a 5]