The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Katherine Bronson, 1834-1901

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1834.08.14
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1901.02
Place of Death:


Katherine Bronson, née De Kay, was the wife of Arthur Bronson. They had a daughter Edith, later Countess Rucellai.


Bronson, a central figure within Venetian society, was related to JW's early patron, Thomas De Kay Winans. JW was himself a distant relation, his older brother George having married Julia De Kay Winans. From the time of their marriage the Bronsons spent much of their time travelling all over Europe. In 1876, they settled permanently in Venice and soon held a central position in Venetian society. In 1879-80, JW, along with Robert Browning, John Singer Sargent and Henry James, enjoyed Bronson's hospitality at the Ca' Alvisi, the family home situated at the mouth of the Grand Canal opposite Santa Maria della Salute. JW declared, 'Venice is only really known in all its fairy perfection to the privileged who may be permitted to gaze from Mrs Bronson's balcony' (#11542). According to family tradition, JW gave her Venice (M.816), possibly as a parting gift.


Bronson, K. De K., 'Browning in Asolo,' Century Magazine, vol. 59, April 1900, pp. 920-31; Bronson, K. De K., 'Browning in Venice,' Century Magazine, vol. 63, February 1902, pp. 572-84; Meredith, M., (ed.), More Than Friend: The Letters of Robert Browning to Katherine de Kay Bronson, Waco, Texas, 1985; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995; MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night Whistler in Venice, Aldershot, 2001.