Artist: James McNeill Whistler
Title: St. Anne's Soho
Size: 7 ½” x 5 ¼”
Whistler also planned a series of lithographs depicting London churches. ‘St. Anne’s Soho’ was the first image in that projected series and one of only two that he actually completed. Whistler’s drawing of the late seventeenth-century church on Wardour Street was made in late March, while he and his wife were living at the Savoy Hotel. The building was located midway between the hotel and the studio he had taken on Fitzroy Street; it probably attracted his attention as he walked through the neighborhood en route to his studio.St. Anne’s was bombed in World War II, and today only its yellow-brick tower, outer walls, and garden survive…. Elizabeth Pennell’s contemporary description of the site may suggest [another reason] why Whistler found the west end of St. Anne’s an appealing place to pause with his crayons and transfer paper. In an article of 1897, she wrote: ‘St. Anne’s Soho, just around the corner from the noise and brand-new aggressiveness of Shaftesbury Avenue, is a quiet, quaint eighteenth-century [sic] building, somewhat raised above the level of the street set in a square of its own, where, on benches under pleasant trees, the tired population of Soho, mostly foreign, comes to take its rest as in the somnolent garden of a French or Italian provincial town.’”
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