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Cremorne Gardens, No. 2

Artist:
James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London)
Date:
ca. 1870–80
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
27 x 53 1/8 in. (68.6 x 134.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.32
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 3
Cremorne Gardens was a popular London amusement park that offered music, dancing, and spectacular fireworks. Unlike his friends among the French Impressionists, who also portrayed outdoor public entertainments, Whistler sought to create a harmonious world on the canvas, not simply to record the world of appearances. As Cremorne Gardens was associated with the demimonde, the painting may refer to an encounter between four prostitutes and a potential customer. Rather than recounting a legible narrative, however, Whistler merely implied the ephemeral charm of an evening’s gathering in an indistinct setting.
Thomas Way, London, by 1879 (purchased from auctioneers before the sale of Whistler's White House, 1879); his son, Thomas R. Way, London, until at least 1905; Alexander Arnold Hannay, London, after 1905–at least 1910; with Percy M. Turner, London, 1912
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