• Red and Brown-Hoxton
  • Red and Brown-Hoxton

Red and Brown-Hoxton

Facade of a row of three-storied houses and shop fronts; many small figures in the foreground; signed with the butterfly at upper right.
Maker nationality and date
Watercolor on paper
H x W: 12.5 x 21 cm (4 15/16 x 8 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Object Number
Alternate title
Oxstead, Surrey
Chelsea Shops
Production location
England, London, Hoxton, Shoreditch
Red butterfly in upper right quadrant
Verso: Stair Landing (unknown hand)
Exhibition History
Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, "Notes"—"Harmonies"—"Nocturnes", May 1886
Unknown, Untitled exhibition, Institute of Fine Arts, Glasgow, 1896
Goupil Gallery, Pictures, Drawings, Bronzes, Pottery, Antique Furniture, Decorative Metal Work, 1898
Copley Society of Art, Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, February 23 to March 22, 1904
Royal Scottish Academy, 78th Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, Spring or Autumn of 1904
Selected Curatorial Remarks
1. Glazer, Jacobson, McCarthy, Roeder, wall label, 2019:
Whistler was fascinated by street scenes throughout his career, from his early etchings and watercolors of the quiet village of Saverne in the Rhineland, to a busy flower market in northern France, and on to the children in his London neighborhood.
Selected Published References
1. Curry: James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art, Pg. 193
In both color and composition, Chelsea Shops [alternate title for Red and Brown–Hoxton] resembles an oil painting, Streets in Old Chelsea [Museum of Fine Arts Boston], executed by Whistler ca. 1880-1885. The oil scene can be pinpointed since it includes Maunder's Fish Shop, but in the watercolor the artist has obscured enough detail to make it difficult to ascertain the exact location. The watercolor may depict shopfronts farther up or down along the same street. A topographical drawing of Cheyne Walk west of Old Chelsea Church shows that Whistler's art works were based upon remarkably accurate observations of the busy neighborhood.
Catalogue Raisonne number
MacDonald Catalogue number
Previous owner(s)
John James Cowan (C.L. Freer source) (1846-1936)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
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