Stephen Manuel, a civil servant, was JW's nephew. His mother Sophie Manuel was the sister of JW's sister-in-law Nellie Whistler, née Ionides. He married his cousin, Zoe Ionides.
In 1885, commissioned by Sophie Manuel, JW painted Stephen Manuel's portrait, Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of Master Stephen Manuel (YMSM 321). According to the artist Walter Sickert, JW did not work quickly enough for the child who became tired from posing. Sickert encouraged him to bring sittings to an end (#05423). Sickert made an etched portrait of him at the same time. JW's portrait was first exhibited at the Society of British Artists' 1885-86 winter exhibition, where it was a success among the critics (#06706).
Stephen Manuel became the Chief of Section of the Raw Materials Department and Advisor on East Indian Tanned Hides and Skins. In 1892 he was invited to a private view of JW's exhibition, Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces at the Goupil Gallery (#08453). He was then living at 5 Aubrey Road.
Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.