The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Joseph Whistler Revillon, 1886-1955

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1886.04.02
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1955.01.19
Place of Death: Mendham Priory, nr Harleston, Norfolk


Joseph Whistler Revillon, JW's great-nephew, was the son of Julia de Kay Whistler and Albert Revillon. He was a civil engineer.


With the help of Frederick W. Coburn, the curator of the Whistler House at Lowell, Massachusetts, Revillon listed most of the paintings by or ascribed to JW, and collected a mass of data and photographs. For a while he had the help of the author and art critic Denys Sutton who went on to write a critical monograph on JW. He was in contact with a number of JW collectors, and occasionally sitters, from whom he gained invaluable insights into the history of individual paintings. For example, Stephen Manuel wrote to him in 1945 concerning Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of Master Stephen Manuel (YMSM 321): 'JW produced a fresh canvas each time [...] the essential picture was painted very quickly and in about two sittings'. St Petersburg Sketchbook (M.7), 'Ma Nièce' (M.21), Deborah Haden with her baby Annie (M.22) and Nocturne: Chelsea (M.860) were passed by family descent from Dr William McNeill Whistler to Helen Whistler and finally to Revillon. Revillon bequeathed all his Whistler papers and acquisitions to the University of Glasgow at his death in 1955.


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; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.