Head of Whistler

Impression: Whistler Etchings Project
Whistler Etchings Project
Number: 318
Date: 1887/1892
Medium: drypoint
Size: 99 x 68 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)


head, man, portrait, self-portrait.


Whistler's original title is not known, so a descriptive title was given to the copper plate:

'Head of Whistler ' (1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 1

' Head of Whistler' was the descriptive title recorded when the copper plates, from Whistler's estate, were given to the University of Glasgow by Miss Birnie Philip in 1935. The title may have been recorded by Miss Philip in Whistler's lifetime or at his death, and is accurate, since this is a self-portrait of the artist.

1: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.


A head and shoulders portrait of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), looking straight at the viewer.


Comparative image
J. McNeill Whistler, 1891, photograph.
Image © Glasgow University Library.
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Earlier self-portraits include Portrait of Whistler [5], Whistler with a hat [44], Portrait sketches including F.R. Leyland and Whistler [122] and Whistler with the White Lock [162]. There are also several oil paintings, including Self-Portrait [y416], Self-Portrait [y460], Self-Portrait [y461] and Gold and Brown [y462].


No impression of this previously unrecorded portrait is known. It is of a scale and style similar to other works drawn during the early years of their marriage when Whistler's wife Beatrice worked with him in the studio, and their style became very similar.