Whistler, James Abbot McNeill, Firelight: Joseph Pennell, 1896
Signed James Abbot McNeill Whistler, Lithograph, Firelight: Joseph Pennell, 1896
|Artist:||Whistler, James Abbot McNeill (1834 - 1903)|
|Title:||Firelight: Joseph Pennell, 1896|
Original James Whistler Lithograph
|Image Size:||6 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in (16.5 cm x 14 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||approx. 9 in x 8 in (22.86 cm x 20.32 cm)|
|Framed Size:||23 in x 22 in (58.42 cm x 55.88 cm)|
|Signed:||Featuring James A. M. Whistler's Butterfly signature in the center left|
|Edition:||From the original edition that was published 1898 and 1908|
|Condition:||Good condition; a bold impression|
|Gallery Price: |
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Offering an intimate view of Whistler’s friend Mr. Joseph Pennell, this work captures the subject’s pensive nature. The artist adeptly manipulates the plate to create an intense image characterized by dramatic contrasts of shading.
The work was executed in 1896 as the frontispiece for Joseph Pennell’s volume Lithography and Lithographers jointly written with his wife Elizabeth Robins Pennell. The work is from the original edition and is printed on a laid paper. Examples of this work can be found in the collections of the Boston Public Library, The Brooklyn Museum of Art and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Seated in a delicate wicker chair with an over stuffed cushion, Pennell appears deep in thought with his hands crossed behind his neck and legs nonchalantly crossed in a state of repose. The figure’s features are losely rendered focusing on his thin nose and thoughtful eyes. Further enticing the viewer to enjoy the figure’s environment, Whistler suggests the warmth that emanates from the fire place. The left side of Pennell’s body is bathed in light while his right is cast in relative shadow, suggesting the warm environment enjoyed by the author.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. The Art Institute of Chicago, The Lithographs of James McNeil Whistler, Volume I, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1998. Listed as plate 144 on page 418 -421.
2. Levy Mervyn, Whistler Lithographs, Jupiter Books, 1975. Listed as plate 152.
About the Framing:
plate and subject matter. The framing is completed with white, linen-wrapped mats and a matching gold inner fillet set behind an archival Plexiglas® cover.
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Biography of James Abbot McNeill Whistler
1834 Lowell (Massachusetts) - 1903 London Whistler grew up in New England. In 1843 the family moved to Russia, where he received his first drawing lessons at the St. Petersburg Academy in 1845. On the death of his father in 1849 the family returned to America. In 1851 he became a cadet at the military college at West Point, but decided to follow art as a profession. in 1855 he went to Paris, entering the studio of Gleyre in 1856. Important for his artistic development was his meeting with Fantin-Latour and Courbet; other friends included Manet, Monet and Degas. On his rejection by the Salon in 1859 he left Paris for London. His work during this period showed the Japanese influence. In 1866 he visited Chile. Around 1870 his first "nocturnes" were produced, an exquisite series of Thames etchings, intended to capture the poetic mood of pictorial and musical harmony. This theme was to hold his attention for nearly a decade. From the 1870s he increasingly turned to painting portraits, which formed his major source of income until the 1800s. In 1878 he sued Ruskin for libel. Despite winning a moral victory, Whistler was driven into bankruptcy by the cost of the action. From 1886 to 1888 he was the president of the Society of British Artists. In 1892 the Goupil Grallery in London arranged a successful one-man exhibition of his work. Whistler's aesthetic approach found expression in the subtle effect of delicate colours and tone values. His portraits, landscapes and interiors exercise great charm. His manner of painting owes less to the analytical technique of Impressionism, but rather more to the colour impressionism developed in the 17th century.