Friday, December 20, 2013

Maud Franklin

Maud Franklin (1857-1941) for more than a decade was the favorite model of James McNeill Whistler. A young painter herself, she became the older painter's mistress and companion in the late 1870s, remaining with him until his marriage to another woman in 1888.

The photograph of Maud Franklin in a striped jacket was taken around 1890 by G.P. Jacomb Hood. For the rest of her long life, Maud Franklin declined to speak with any journalist or interviewer about Whistler.

Frances Benjamin Johnston made the images of Whistler in his studio (below) at about the same time G.P. Jacomb Hood was photographing Whistler's former inspiration wearing her boldly striped jacket.

Below, three Whistler watercolors from 1883-84, Maud Franklin merging into scenes of domestic stability.

These watercolors are all serenity. In real life, the couple had two daughters during their years together  and did not raise them. One baby died, the other was raised by foster parents.

Above, Maud Franklin full-length in oil, as seen by Whistler in early times. He called the picture Arrangement in White and Black.

And an ink sketch of the muse from the later years.

For the elaborate society portrait below, Whistler employed Maud Franklin as model while working up the figure, then at the end applied another face, the face of the officially named subject.