The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Louise Kinsella, ??-1923

Nationality: American
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1923.10.12
Place of Death:


Louise Kinsella was a patron of JW's. She was one of three daughters of the American newspaper editor Thomas Kinsella. According to Beatrix Whistler, in 1894, the eldest sister married Hercules Arthur Temple Robinson, who was an artist and the son of Sir Hercules George Robert Robinson, the governor of Melbourne (#03175).


Kinsella and her sisters came to Paris to complete their education. There William Rothenstein made a drawing of Kinsella, who was considered particularly beautiful, and Charles Condor fell in love with her and made a painting of her. JW began to paint Kinsella's portrait in June 1894. JW wrote to her in July 1896 concerning Rose et vert: L'Iris - Portrait of Miss Kinsella (YMSM 420), 'I am so very pleased with yourself in the picture that today I showed the portrait to Sargent! [...] He said it is very beautiful - and I must say I admired it myself quite recklessly for once' (#02448). Sittings continued throughout the 1890s but the portrait remained unfinished at JW's death and was all but ruined by JW's scraping and repainting. JW was in correspondence with Kinsella concerning her sittings from 1895 to 1900. Kinsella was amongst those who attended JW's funeral in London on 23 July 1903.


Times, Wednesday 12 October 1927, p. 1; Rothenstein, William, Men and Memories, London, 1931; 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