The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Robert Barrett Browning, 1846-1912

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1846
Place of Birth: Camberwell, London
Date of Death: 1912
Place of Death:


Robert ('Pen') Barrett Browning was a genre painter and sculptor. He was the only son of the writer and poet Robert Browning and the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who eloped to Italy in 1846. His mother died in 1861.

He married an American, Fannie Coddington, on 4 October 1887, but they separated after his father's death.


'Pen' Browning studied in Antwerp and Paris. In his early career he was helped by the painter John Everett Millais who was a friend of his parents.

Whilst in Venice from 1879 to 1880, JW enjoyed the hospitality of the American Katherine De Kay Bronson. The elder Browning was also in Venice at this time and a frequent guest at the Casa Alvisi, the Venetian home of the Bronsons, and the two men became acquainted.


Times, London, 23 September 1935, p. 19; 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; MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night Whistler in Venice, Aldershot, 2001.