Provenance: private collection since circa 1990
Literature: Henry Morley: A Stirling Artist, exh. cat.,
Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, 2004, pp. 2‚Äì3
This portrait is based on James McNeill Whistler’s iconic
Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother
1872 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). Morley trained at the Académie Julian and
would thus have been aware of Whistler’s work. It was also in Paris
that Morley met his future wife, Isobel Hutchison, possibly the subject
of this portrait.
The setting of the painting is likely to be
Craigmill House, near Stirling, where both Henry and Isobel learned to
paint under Joseph Denovan Adam at the atelier he ran there. Thereafter
they both specialised as landscape painters, typically producing
plein-air oils in the vicinity of Stirling, of the type seen in the
background of this work.
We are grateful to Michael McGinnes of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum for assistance.