|James Abbott Mc Neill Whistler PRBA (1834-1903)|
"Eagle Wharf" Wapping, London.
Signed in the plate "Whistler" and dated 1859.
5 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches.
Etching on fine laid paper with a watermark.
Seventy-three known impressions.
A richly inked impression.
Whistler turned to the subject of the River Thames in the summer of 1859 and Eagle Wharf is one of his most dramatic images. The area around Wapping that fascinated Whistler was dangerous and infested yet the artist appreciated the picturesque disrepair of the wharfs and warehouses that lined its banks. He also depicted the working men whose lives were intimately connected to the river and placed them in the foreground where they could not be seen as incidental to the scene. The Thames set was published in 1871 by Ellis and Green as part of 'Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames and Other Subjects'. Impressions were also later available through The Fine Art Society and the artist himself.
References: (K.41) Edward G. Kennedy, The Etched Work of Whistler, New York, The Grolier Club, 1910.
(G50). 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.