The Beggars—Winter


Artist: James McNeill Whistler (United States, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
late 1879 or early 1880
Chalk and pastel on brown paper
H x W: 30.2 x 20.2 cm (11 7/8 x 7 15/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


United States, winter

To 1902
Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934), London, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Henry Studdy Theobald, London, in August 1902 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder note sheet, Object file. See also Original Whistler List, Purchases from Theobald, pg. 9, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives; and Voucher No. 1, August 1902, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Henry Studdy Theobald (C.L. Freer source) 1847 - 1934


Whistler drew this pastel in a small courtyard off the Campo Santa Margarita, close to his first lodgings in Venice. After seeing it at the Fine Art Society, Whistler's friend E. W. Godwin described it as a "view through a passage to [a] snow covered street." The title, the snow in the distance, and the extremely limited range of color (white, orange, and green), suggest that it was completed early in Whistler's stay in Venice, when he first turned from etching to pastels.
E. W. Godwin, annotation in Venice Pastels (London: Fine Art Society, 1881), Glasgow University Library.

Published References
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 265, pl. 257.
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice. Aldershot, Hampshire, England, 2001. p. 38, fig. 39.
  • Robert H. Getscher. Whistler and Venice. Ann Arbor. pl. 34.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum