Arrangement in Yellow and Gray: Effie Deans (c.1876-1878)

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (1834-1903)

Arrangement in Yellow and Gray: Effie Deans
Oil on canvas, 194 x 93 cm

A standing young woman, full-length, in profile to the right. One of several paintings of standing women titled “Arrangement…” dated 187477 for which Maud Franklin, the artist’s mistress, posed. The subtitle “Effie Deans”, which refers to one of the main characters in Walter Scott‘s novel “The Heart of Midlothian” (1818), was first used in 1886; the inscription and signature were probably not added until 1889. Whistler considered the formal and painterly qualities of his works more important than any reference to what they depicted. He often gave paintings musical titles indicating the colours in the composition. This is one of a series of studies he called ‘Arrangements’; it later acquired a literary sub-title Effie Deans referring to the heroine of Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Heart of Midlothian. (RIJKS)

See also:

Franklin, Maud (1857-1939) | Scott, Walter (1771-1832): The Heart of Mid-Lothian (English)