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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.