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Seymour, Standing

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 10
Date: 1857/1858
Medium: etching
Size: 98 x 67 mm
Signed: 'J. W.' at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.6; M.5; T.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


boy, boy standing, clothing, dress, kilt, portrait.


Whistler's original title is not known. The published titles vary only in punctuation, for example:

'Seymour Standing' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 1
'Seymour, Standing' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 2

Kennedy's title, 'Seymour, Standing' (with punctuation) is preferable.

1: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 5).

2: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 6).


A boy stands facing to the right. He has thick wavy hair, reaching his collar, parted at his right with a heavy fringe. A long black ribbon-like cravat is tied in an untidy bow round his short, turned-down collar. His hands are deep in the pockets of his jacket, which fastens with a single button at the top; he wears a short, buttoned waistcoat; a loosely gathered skirt or 'kilt' reaching just below his knees, trimmed with a broad band or ribbon just above the hem; long plaid socks; and light-weight shoes, possibly dancing shoes. The figure is lit from the right, and casts a shadow to left, which suggests a wall just behind the figure. No other background is indicated.


Francis Seymour Haden, Jr (1850-1918). This would have been drawn in the Haden's house in Sloane Street, London.


Seymour is seen wearing the same dress in Seymour Haden, Jr, Seated 009. The dress is typical of a middle-class Victorian boy's winter clothes. 3 Kennedy describes the dress as 'Scotch'. 4 However, the kilt is not tartan nor is Seymour wearing a sporran or other specifically Scottish accessories.

3: i.e. 'Boy's Dress', Godey's Lady's Book, December 1859, p. 543, (accessed 2009).

4: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 6).