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: Grey and Silver Mist: Life Boat with frame: Grey and Silver Mist: Life Boat

Grey and Silver Mist: Life Boat

Oil painting
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
January or March 1884
Oil on wood panel
H x W: 12.3 x 21.6 cm (4 13/16 x 8 1/2 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Like most or all of the St. Ives oils, Grey and Silver Mist-Life Boat is painted over a light gray ground, areas of which are visible at the far right edge. Probably working from the top down, Whistler used bands of three darker grays to establish the sky, mist, sea, and shore. The swirl of darker gray paint at the lower right evokes the rolling of waves, even as it reminds the viewer of the painter who has contrived the image. The thin orange lines decorating the gunnels of the blue boat emphasize by contrast the cold grayness of the beautiful but bleak scene.

Dowdeswell's, London, 1884 [1]

H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, NY, 1889 [2]

To 1914
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, NY, to 1914 [3]

From 1914 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from M. Knoedler & Co., New York, NY, in January 1914 [4]

From 1920
The Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [5]


[1] Object file, Exhibition history.

[2] See note 1.

[3] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Whistler List, Purchases since making up the Smithsonian Inventory, p. 15, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[4] See note 3.

[5] 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.

Former owner
Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell (1878 - 1912)
H. Wunderlich & Co. (C.L. Freer source)
M. Knoedler & Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
boat, United States
Collection(s) Area
American Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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