The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Arthur Haythorne Studd, 1863-1919

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1863
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1919.01.26
Place of Death: Dowsing Nursing home, 3 Dorset Square, Middlesex


Arthur ('Peter') Haythorne Studd was an English painter and collector.


Studd, known as 'Peter' since his art student days, studied at the Slade School of Art in London and then at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he met Whistler around 1892. However, he did not become fully acquainted with Whistler until his return to London in 1894, when he became Whistler's neighbour in Chelsea. From this date Studd and Whistler, whom Studd called the 'Master', were in correspondence. They also worked together at Lyme Regis and Dieppe. The subdued tone and limited range of colour of Studd's landscapes were greatly influenced by those of Whistler.

Around 1897 Whistler drew a charcoal portrait of Studd, Arthur H. Studd (M.1499). It remained in Whistler's studio until his death, when it came into the possession of Whistler's sister-in-law and executor Rosalind Birnie Philip. An inscription on the verso in her handwriting, 'To Arthur H Studd / in affectionate remembrance / from 'The ladies of the family' / August 11th. 1903', suggests that she had intended to present the work to Studd, but it was eventually bequeathed to the University of Glasgow.

Studd had a large private income and bought a number of Whistler pastels and paintings, including Chelsea fruit shop (M.1117), Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115) and Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169). Whistler declared in 1894 that he was glad that Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) was in the 'sympathetic care of a confrère'. The previous owner, the wallpaper manufacturer John Gerald Potter, who had also at one time owned Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115), had purchased the painting for less than £150. He sold it to Studd in 1893 for £1400. C. L. Freer of Detroit offered Studd £250,000 for Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115) and Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169), but Studd refused to sell. All three were bequeathed by Studd, against the wishes of Whistler, to the National Gallery in London in 1919 and transferred to the Tate Gallery in 1951. He also bought several lithographs by JW from the Fine Art Society in 1895.

Inspired by Paul Gauguin, Studd travelled to Tahiti in 1897. He left his manservant Auguste with Whistler for a short period in January of that year.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, pp. 172-73; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.