The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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May Margherita Rawlinson, 1822-??

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1822.11
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:


Mrs May Margherita Rawlinson, née Cridland, was the daughter of Rev. Alexander Cridland, incumbent of Hensall-cum-Heck, Snaith, Yorkshire, and the wife of the collector and silk merchant William George Rawlinson, whom she married in 1867. They had one son and three daughters.


W. G. Rawlinson bought Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119) from C. A. Howell for £100 or 100 guineas. Pennell implied that this was in 1877. Rawlinson had it varnished and reframed by the picture restorer Signor Buggiani under JW's supervision. By December 1887 'patches' had appeared on the painting (#05116) and JW offered to return the price paid or paint a new one. Rawlinson replied that he wanted another one like it. He also asked for a set of JW's Venice etchings (#05117). He sent Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119) to Dyce, a picture restorer on Orchard Street (#05119), and it came back 'very beautiful again' (#05123).

At their home, Hill Lodge on Campden Hill, the Rawlinsons played host to a large circle of friends, including many writers and artists. In the late 1870s they made numerous invitations for JW to join them for lunch and dinner and JW in turn attempted to persuade them to attend his Sunday morning breakfasts (#08112).


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; Dictionary of National Biography Online, Oxford, 1997.