The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Joseph Middlemore Jopling, 1831-1884

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1831
Place of Birth: London
Date of Death: 1884.12
Place of Death: Chelsea


Joseph Middleton Jopling was a water colour painter. He was the son of a clerk in the Horse Guards. In 1874 he married the landscape, portrait and genre painter Louise Romer (née Goode). Together they had a son Lindsay Millais.


Jopling, who began his career in the civil service, was largely self-taught as a watercolourist. He painted landscapes, portraits, still lifes, flower pieces and historical and genre scenes. In 1859 he was elected an associate of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. He was a regular exhibitor in London at the Royal Academy, Grosvenor Gallery, London Salon and Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, as well as at the Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Gallery in Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery. He was a founder member of The Arts Club in 1863 and remained a member until 1883.

Early in 1876 Jopling was offered the post of Superintendent of the Fine Arts in the English section of the Philadelphia International Exhibition.

Louise Jopling described her husband as having 'a very penetrating look' and 'a beautifully curved mouth'. According to her, he also had 'a great gift of friendship'. One of his closest friends was John Everett Millais.

Jopling was also good friends with Whistler; both the Joplings' names were included in a list written by Whistlerthat may have been a guest list for the private view of JW's Pall Mall exhibition of 1874, or a subscription list for Whistler's Venice etchings as proposed in 1876 (#12714). In 1884, the couple were invited to a private view of his exhibition 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes' at Dowdeswell's Galleries (#10540).


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Records of The Art Club, London; Jopling, Louise, Twenty Years of My Life, 1867 to 1887, London, 1925; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; 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.