Incorrect Username, Email, or Password

An atmospheric night scene features undefined figures and buildings receding into the shadows.

This hazy landscape painting verges on abstraction, as sketches of figures and objects are formed with quick brushstrokes and minimal detail, approximating limited night vision. A group of small café tables and chairs occupy the foreground, with two women in hats and skirts, one of whom appears to be bending down to pick up a dropped handkerchief as the central figures of the composition. Light emanates from an enclosed porch at the left and billowing smoke rising past the right edge of the canvas. A walking figure’s red shirt and small red dots in the distance, suggesting city lights, punctuate the muted palette dominated by warm brown and amber tones.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, American (Lowell, MA 1834 - 1903 London, England)
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Gardens
Other Titles
Former Title: Cremorne No. 1
Work Type
c. 1872-1875
Creation Place: North America, United States
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
50.8 x 77.5 cm (20 x 30 1/2 in.)
framed: 81.3 x 106.7 x 5.7 cm (32 x 42 x 2 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: strainer (now in curatorial file), paper, printed and handwritten: No. 424.
  • inscription: verso, left side of frame, red chalk: X
  • label: verso, bottom of frame, serrated edges with printed text: 20
  • label: verso, top strecher bar, printed label: Scott & Fowles / 667 Fifth Avenue / NEW YORK / No. [handwritten, black ink:] 424
  • label: verso, lower left of frame, printed text: FOORD & DICKINSON, / Carvers & Gilders, / 90, Wardour Street. W. / DRAWINGS MOUNTED. / PICTURES CLEANED AND RESTORED.
  • inscription: on old backing board, now removed:
    [printed:] SCOTT & FOWLES / 745 FIFTH AVENUE / NEW YORK / CABLE ADDRESS "SCOLES, NEW YORK" / [typewritten:] CREMORNE #1 / PAINTED by JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER, c.1877. / (b.1834 - d.1903) / FORMERLY in the COLLECTION of the late WILLIAM B. PATERSON, London. / FORMERLY in the COLLECTION of MRS. ALEXANDER ARGENTI. / FORMERLY in the COLLECTION of JOHN CALVOCARESSI. / EXHIBITED at the MEMORIAL EXHIBITION, organized by the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY / of SCULPTORS, PAINTERS and GRAVERS, London, 1905, no.21, p.82. / RECORDED: Graves, Algernon: A century of loan exhibitions 1813-1912, v.IV, p.1657. / New Gallery Exhibition, 1905. #21 - Cremorne #1. 19 1/2 x 30. / Loaned by Mrs. Alexander Argenti. RECORDED: Sickert, B.: Whistler, 1908, p. 157, no.51. / ILLUSTRATED in Pennell, E.R. & J.: The life of James McNeill Whistler, 1908, / v.1, p. 164. / "As the light fades and the shadows deepen, all the petty and exacting details / vanish; everything trivial disappears, and I see things as they are, in great, / strong masses; the buttons are lost, but the garment remains; the garment is lost, / but the sitter remains; the sitter is lost, but the shadow remains; the shadow is / lost, but the picture remains. And that, night cannot efface from the painter's / imagination." / Seitz, Don Carlos: Whistler stories ..., 1913, p.120. / N.B. The following information was supplied by the late Wm. B. Paterson: "Cremorne No.1. Exhibited at the Memorial Exhibition of J. McNeill Whistler. / Organized by the International Society of Sculptors, Painters & Gravers. London, / 1905 (February & March). / The gardens backed by dense masses of foliage are illuminated. Figures are / seen moving about, amongst them waiters in red. Jackets. Two women dressed in white / are seen, one of whom seems to be picking up a handkerchief. In the foreground a / number of chairs & tables. The frame is original, and designed by Whistler. The / picture was painted for John Calvocaressi. (Lent by Mrs. Alexander Argenti). / H. 19 1/2, B.30. Catalogue. Page 82. No.21.
  • label: on old backing board, now removed: Scott & Fowles / 667 Fifth Avenue / NEW YORK / No. [handwritten, black ink:] 424


Recorded Ownership History
The artist, to John Calvocaressi. Mrs. Alexander Argenti, London, 1905. William B. Paterson, London; to his estate; to [Scott and Fowles, New York, 1927], sold; to Grenville Lindall Winthrop, December 7, 1934, bequest to Fogg Art Museum, 1943

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Publication History

  • New Gallery, Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the Late J. McNeill Whistler, exh. cat. (London, England, 1905), no. 21, p. 82
  • Elizabeth Robins Pennell and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, J. B. Lippincott/W. Heinemann (Philadelphia, PA and London, England, 1908), v. I, p. 164, reproduced
  • Bernhard Sickert, Whistler, Duckworth & Co. (London, England, 1908), p. 157, no. 51
  • Algernon Graves, Century of Loan Exhibitions, 1813-1912 (London, England, 1913 - 1915), vol. IV, p. 1657
  • Andrew McLaren Young and Margaret F. MacDonald, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, Yale University Press (New Haven, 1980), no. 163, p. 93, vol. I; pl. 89, reproduced in b/w vol. II
  • David Park Curry, James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art, exh. cat., Freer Gallery of Art / W.W. Norton & Co. (New York and Washington, DC, 1984), reproduced b/w fig. 217, p. 83
  • Natalie Spassky, Linda Bantel, Doreen Bolger Burke, Meg Perlman, and Amy L. Walsh, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume II: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born between 1816 and 1845, ed. Kathleen Luhrs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University Press (New York, 1985), p. 367
  • Isabelle Enaud Lechien, James Whistler: Le paintre et le polémiste, ACR PocheCouleur (Paris, France, 1995), pp. 76-78, reproduced in color, p. 77
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (U.S.) (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 410-11, cat. no. 439, reproduced in color, p. 410
  • David Park Curry, Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change, exh. cat., Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville, ME, 2023), p. 77, fig. 57

Exhibition History

  • Unidentified Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, 1887, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 01/01/1887 - 12/31/1887
  • Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler: First President of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, London, 02/22/1905 - 04/15/1905

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at