The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Louise Jopling, 1843-1933

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1843
Place of Birth: Manchester
Date of Death: 1933
Place of Death:


Louise Jopling was born in Manchester, the fifth child of T. S. Goode, a railway contractor. In 1860 she married Frank Romer, a civil servant, who was appointed private secretary to Baron Rothschild in Paris in 1865. He died in 1872 and in 1874 Jopling was married for a second time, to Joseph Middlemore Jopling, a water colour painter and former civil servant. Together they had a son Lindsay Millais. Her third husband was G.W. Rowe.


Jopling was a writer, teacher and artist. She studied art in Paris under Charles Chaplin from 1867-1868, and painted portraits, figure compositions, landscape and genre scenes.

Jopling first exhibited at Salon in Paris, and then at the Royal Academy from 1870 to 1873 as Romer. She exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery from 1874 onwards as Jopling. She also exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Fine Art Society, Dudley Gallery, and at the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers (JW was elected President of the latter in 1898).

The Joplings were good friends with JW and in the mid 1870s their names were included in a list written by JW that may have been a guest list for the private view of JW's Pall Mall exhibition of 1874, or a subscription list for JW's Venice etchings as proposed in 1876 (#12714). In 1877 JW painted a portrait of Louise Jopling, Harmony in Flesh Colour and Black: Portrait of Mrs Louise Jopling (YMSM 191). She also remembered adding a few touches to Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178). The couple were invited to a private view of JW's exhibition 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes' at Dowdeswell's Galleries in 1884 (#10540).

She shared studios at 28 Beaufort Street, in the 1880s with her husband and Maria Zambaco. Later in the 1890s, the Joplings worked at Clareville Studios, 27 Clareville Grove, where D. Hardy, Frederick Sandys and Harry Quilter also worked at some time.

She set up her own art school, at which JW awarded prizes (see #02416).

In 1880 she became a member of the Society of Women Artists and in 1891 of Royal Society of Portrait Painters. She was the first women to be elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1901.


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Jopling, Louise, Twenty Years of My Life, 1867 to 1887, London, 1925; Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Artists (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1971); Johnson, J.,and Anna Greutzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1980; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994.