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Elinor Leyland

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 137
Date: 1874
Medium: drypoint
Size: 214 x 139 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 30
Catalogues: K.109; M.108; T.78; W.95
Impressions taken from this plate  (30)


clothing, dress, fashion, full-length, girl standing, portrait.


There are minor variations on the title, as follows:

'Miss Elinor Leyland' (1874, Ralph Thomas, Jr (1840-1876)). 2
'Portrait of Miss Elinor' (1874, James Anderson Rose (1819-1890)). 3
'Babs' (1877, Whistler). 4
'The standing baby Leyland' (1877, Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890)). 5
'Elinor Leyland' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 6

'Elinor Leyland' is the generally accepted title, and is consistent with the titles of the portraits of her siblings.

2: Thomas 1874[more] (cat. no. 78).

3: Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 482).

4: 22 October [1877], GUW #12737.

5: Howell to Whistler, [6-15 November 1877], GUW #02178.

6: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 95).


A young girl stands facing front, with her arms on her hips, and legs apart. Her legs are drawn in several different positions and her feet are barely suggested. She has short curly hair, brushed up on each side of a central parting. She wears a dress with a fitted bodice and high neck edged with frills, puffed sleeves, narrow waist, and a short full skirt with several layers of frills. She is lit strongly from front right and casts a shadow behind and to left. There is vertical shading in the background, suggesting a curtain.


Etching: c_K109_01
Study for a portrait of Baby Leyland m0517, chalks,
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Elinor Leyland (1861-1952). Whistler drew numerous studies of her in chalk and pastel. A similar composition is seen in several related pen drawings, chalk and pastel studies, including Elinor Leyland m0518, r.: The Blue Girl; v.: Curtain m0521 (reproduced below) and Study for 'The Blue Girl: Portrait of Miss Elinor Leyland' m0717, and a projected oil portrait, The Blue Girl: Portrait of Miss Elinor Leyland y111. 7

7: Courtauld Institute, London; Freer Gallery of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; see also Study for 'The Blue Girl: Portrait of Miss Elinor Leyland' m0520 (British Museum).

Etching: c_K109_02
r.: The Blue Girl; v.: Curtain m0521, chalk and pastel,
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC.