Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Black: Portrait of Théodore Duret, 1883
James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)
Oil on canvas; 76 1/8 x 35 3/4 in. (193.4 x 90.8 cm)
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1913 (13.20)
The Parisian collector and art critic Théodore Duret (1838–1927), who was an early champion of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, and the Impressionists, posed for this portrait in Whistler's London studio. At Duret's request, Whistler portrayed him in evening dress, but suggested that he hold a pink domino—a hooded masquerade robe—that echoed the flesh tones and relieved the austere black and gray palette. A quintessential demonstration of Whistler's mature style, the portrait combines a skillfully characterized head with a costume and setting intended to create a harmonious "arrangement."