Tag Archives: James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Early States & Trial Proofs: A Window into the Mind of the Artist

Every artist works differently and is inspired by different things, but print-making gives us the unique opportunity to view the creative process at work. When an artist makes a print, they create the matrix from which prints can be pulled. This might be a copper plate that has been etched or a lithographic stone that the artist has drawn on with crayon, but the process has an inherent flaw. The finished artwork is an impression from that matrix rather than the matrix itself, so the artist needs to pull an impression in order to know how their art actually looks.… Read More

Irascible & Influential: The Etchings of James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Both his temperament and his compositions are indicative of Whistler’s passionate and energetic approach to art. These same qualities are visible in his numerous etchings.Whistler was drawn to etching by his brother-in-law, the great British etcher Sir Francis Seymour Haden. Whistler’s skill with an etching needle seems to have come to him instantaneously. Even in his earliest attempts, his use of line is expressive and emotive, and shows a fluidity generally reserved for artists who have had lengthy practice with a medium.