On the left is one of the several Whistler paintings bought by one of the occupants, the engineer and art patron Alfred Chapman. Much to the annoyance of the housekeeper, as Whistler had a habit of inviting people to see his artwork in private homes, whether or not the owners were in. The suggestion 'the housekeeper will be happy to let you in' received a corrective letter from another patron, Frederick Leyland, pointing out that the housekeeper was actually not happy at all about letting people in all the time, had better things to do, and would he please stop inviting strangers to the house.
This particular painting hung, along with several others by Whistler, in 23 Abercromby Square, above what is now the Beech Gallery. For those familiar with the building, doors have been renumbered and the original entrance to number 23 no longer exists. The door currently marked '23' is the historical number '22'. And if you think that is confusing, you're in for a treat when I do the full history of the Square, with some house numbers chaning on a yearly basis!