|James Abbott Mc Neill Whistler PRBA (1834-1903)|
6 x 4 inches
Etching on cream laid paper.
Signed in the plate "Whistler" and inscribed "Imp Delatre. Rue St Jaques. 171".
Fifth state of five.
Seventy-five known impressions.
Made during the summer of 1858 this etching is part of the 'French Set' known as Twelve Etchings from Nature published by Auguste Delatre the same year. Whistler's sitters were found in the lowest echelons of society all of whom were favourite subjects with realist painters at the time. The bohemian grisette
Fumette, also known as Eloise, was a milliner's assistant in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and Whistler's lover at the time. She was known throughout the Latin Quarter as "the tigress" for her furious temper. They lived together in the Rue Saint-Sulpice and their relationship was a stormy one. Whistler was always attracted to pretty women and he had a sequence of intimate relationships leading up to his marriage in 1888. Whistler made two other etchings of the sitter.
References: (K.13) Edward G. Kennedy, The Etched Work of Whistler, New York, The Grolier Club, 1910.
(G12). Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonne, University of Glasgow, 2012.
James Abbott Mc Neill Whistler PRBA (1834-1903):
As a painter, etcher and lithographer Whistler is undoubtedly one of the great masters of the nineteenth century. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts he entered West Point Military Academy in 1851 but left to work as a cartographer for the Navy where he studied etching. In 1855 he went to Paris and came under the influence of Courbet and Manet. In 1859 he moved to London and completed his masterful Thames Set of etchings. Whistler's colourful personality led him to feud, most notably with John Ruskin and Oscar Wilde. He had many imitators including Walter Greaves and Mortimer Mempes. He exhibited in London at the Royal Academy, Society of British Artists, Grosvenor Gallery and elsewhere.