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"Mother and Daughter (La Mere Malade)" c.1896-1900

Royal (1) s. in stone with butterfly; c.r.
(2) inscr. in pencil; b.r. "c.30850" CRE WHISTLER, James McNeill; (American; 1834-1903) PRINT CLOT, Auguste; (French; 19th-20th century) "Mother and Daughter (La Mere Malade)" is a double portrait of Whistler?s mother-in-law, Frances Birnie Philip, and one of her daughters, probably Ethel Whibley. The portrait can be dated to 1897 as Mrs Frances Birnie Philip wears the mourning clothes she adopted following the death of her daughter, Beatrix. During this period Whistler made frequent trips to Paris, where he stayed with his late wife?s family on the rue du Bac. This lithograph was printed by the French printer Auguste Clot, who had at one time been employed by the Lemercier firm who had previously printed a number of Whistler?s works in lithography. The title "La Mere Malade" is an alternative title often associated with this work. However, as there is no visual or documentary evidence to suggest that Mrs Birnie Philip was ill when she posed for this portrait, it does not seem wholly appropriate.
This work was presented to the University of Glasgow by Harold J. L. Wright in 1959.