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The Guitar Player (M.W. Ridley)

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 124
Date: 1874/1875
Medium: drypoint
Size: 279 x 179 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 7
Known impressions: 11
Catalogues: K.140; M.138; W.122
Impressions taken from this plate  (11)


artist, guitar, man standing, musician, portrait.


There are several minor variations, involving punctuation and the addition or omission of the definite article and the sitter's name, as follows:

'The Guitar player - (Ridley)' (1874/1875, Whistler). 1
'The Guitar player' (1875, Whistler). 2
'Guitar Player' (1877, Whistler). 3
'Ridley [(]"The Guitar player")' (1877, Whistler). 4
'The Guitar-Player' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 5
'Ridley' (1887, Whistler). 6
'The Guitar Player' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 7

Whistler apparently wanted to identify the sitter, so 'The Guitar Player (M. W. Ridley)' is based on his original title.

1: Written on .

2: Whistler to W. C. Alexander, [March/April 1875], GUW #07573.

3: 10 October 1877, GUW #12734.

4: [19/20 October 1877], GUW #12736.

5: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 122).

6: To W. C. Angus, 9 May 1887, GUW #13098.

7: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 140).


A nearly full-length portrait of a man with dark hair, a full beard and moustache. He wears a short jacket and stands facing nearly front, but turned a little to the left, playing a guitar. There is shading in the background.


Matthew White Ridley (1837-1888). He also appears in The Camp 080 and The Storm 081, and in the 1861 etching, Le Salon d'Edwards, Sunbury, by Alphonse Legros (1837-1911). 8

8: Gatty 1974[more]; Gatty 1981[more].

Etching: c_K140_01
H. Fantin-Latour, Portrait du peintre anglais Ridley, oil, 1861.
(97th Exhibition at the French Gallery, catalogue, 1910).
In 1860 Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) painted a self-portrait that he gave to Ridley, which is now in the Tate (N04581) and he also painted two portraits of Ridley, one in 1861, reproduced above, 9 and another in 1865.

9: Christie's, New York, 6 May 1999 (lot 108).