Florence Leyland

Accession Number

Florence Leyland

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1873

Medium & Support
drypoint, printed in dark brown ink on laid paper

12 7/8 in. x 7 7/8 in. ( 32.7 cm x 20 cm )

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Fanny Leyland
Fourth state of six (Kennedy 108)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.355
Florence Leyland
circa 1873
Eighth state of nine (Kennedy 110)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.356
Whistler spent considerable time at Speke Hall working on commissions, including portraits of the family. As with his prints of the Haden children, he chose to use drypoint exclusively for these touching portraits and strove to define the character of his sitters through their poses and by the quality of his line. The eldest daughter, Fanny, is shown sitting in a pose reminiscent of Whistler’s famous portrait of his mother, but instead of the severe profile of the painting, Fanny’s demeanor speaks to her quiet, introspective personality. In contrast, Florence, two years younger than Fanny, is shown standing holding a hoop; her more outgoing personality is reflected in the animated line and sharper drypoint accents. Such fine impressions of these drypoint portraits are extremely rare.

Subject matter
Whistler's principal patron patron in the 1870s was Frederick Leyland and Whistler created portraits of all of the family members, including this drypoint of the middle Leyland daughter, Florence. Florence must have been a more outgoing child than her older sister, Fanny, whose pose is more self-contained and reserved.

Physical Description
An adolescent girl stands facing the viewer; her left leg is behind her and she holds a hoop in her right hand, her right leg steps through the hoop. Her long hair falls to her shoulders and she has bangs. To the right are the words, "I am Flo".

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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children (people by age group)
hoops (toys)
portrait format

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted