Fanny Leland

James Whistler (1834-1903), Fanny Leyland, drypoint, 1874, signed in the plate at left with the butterfly, inscribed Fanny Leyland at upper left. Glasgow 135, 6th state (of six). Printed in a dark brown ink on an ivory laid paper, with a Pro Patria watermark. In generally good condition (some soft horizontal folds, remains of prior hinging verso, slight toning, soft fold and tiny nick at right edge). Glasgow notes that only 12 impressions are known.

John H. Wrenn (1841-1911), with his initials stamp verso (Lugt 1475). Wrenn was a Chicago financier and print collector. He is referred to in Whistler’s correspondence about 1895. Lugt notes that Wrenn’s print collection principally included examples by Rembrandt, Durer, Seymour Haden, Whistler and Meryon; he was also a noted book collector. E.R. and J. Pennel note that Wrenn also owned a pencil drawing of Fanny, pictured in their The Life of James McNeill Whistler, page 181.

A fine impression.

This portrait of Fanny Leyland (1857-1880) is one of several drypoint portraits of the children of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892) and Frances Leyland (1834-1910). Frederick Leyland was a ship owner and art collector. He commissioned portraits of all his family; he later disputed the charges Whistler made for decorating his house (including the famous Peacock Room), thus ending their relationship.