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"Designs for wall decorations for Aubrey House" (b) c.1873-1874

Royal s. with a butterfly; c.r. CRE WHISTLER, James McNeill; (American; 1834-1903) W.C. Alexander bought Aubrey House in 1873. Unfortunately, Whistler's designs in "various carefully selected pastel shades" for the early nineteenth-century panelling of the 'White Room' were removed in 1913. The apparent abstraction of these designs is deceptive. They are actually beach scenes. They can be seen as a simplified view of nature, with horizontal bands of colour, washes of blue and cream, suggesting sky, sea and breakers, and spots of light, like shingle or ripples, at the edge of the water. (See also GLAHA 46050, 46052, 46053).
Birnie Philip Bequest 1958