Woman with a Child (Nude Figure and Cupid)

Nude figure in a blue cap, seated on a draped couch, with a nude child standing on her lap; signed with the butterfly at right.

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
Watercolor on Japanese paper
H x W: 26.7 x 18.2 cm (10 1/2 x 7 3/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


child, United States, woman

To 1913
Wallis and Son, The French Gallery, London, to 1913 [1]

From 1913 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Wallis and Son, The French Gallery in 1913 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Accession List, Collections Management office, as well as List of Whistler Purchases since Making up the Smithsonian Inventory, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Wallis and Son, The French Gallery (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Nude figure in a blue cap, seated on a draped couch, with a nude child standing on her lap; signed with the butterfly at right.


Whistler referred to the drawings of his model Rose Pettigrew as "Rosies." After seeing recent works by Renoir and Degas in a Paris gallery in 1891, Whistler admonished his wife, Beatrix, to take especially good care of "the beautiful Rosies" stored "in the little drawer on the sofa!!" "Take care of them Trixie--take the two drawers, just as they are, and carry them up stairs--dont let them be shaken, and cover them over with a little drapery and wait till I come back--We have no idea how precious they are!"

Quotation from James McNeill Whistler's letter to Beatrix Whistler,
June 1, 1891, Glasgow University Library.

Published References
  • Kerry Roeder. Whistler in Watercolor. Washington. .
  • Untitled. Exh. cat. Glasgow. .
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Burns A. Stubbs, Freer Gallery of Art. Paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and copper plates by and attributed to American and European artists, together with a list of original Whistleriana in the Freer Gallery of Art. Occasional Papers Series, vol. 1 Washington. p. 19.
  • Untitled. Exh. cat. London. p. 56.
  • Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Joseph Pennell, James McNeill Whistler. The Life of James McNeill Whistler. vol. 2, . p. 86.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 206, pl. 138.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Whistler in Watercolor
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