James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) 
Old Battersea Bridge 1879 and 1887
Lithograph, 100 impressions
14.4 x 33.2 cm
National Gallery of Australia

6 August – 1 October 2006

A National Gallery of Australia travelling exhibition

James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was born in the United States of America, and became an important figure as a painter and printmaker in 19th-century France and England. This exhibition follows Whistler’s legacy as a printmaker, demonstrated through a series of remarkable etchings and later lithographs, which he made from the 1850s to the turn of the century.
Whistler drew inspiration from European historical traditions from the 17th century onwards. He participated in emerging 19th-century movements, such as French Realism and the Venetian Masters. Whistler also became an early devotee of ukiyo-e, the popular woodblock prints produced in Japan.
Exhibition curator and Senior Curator, International Prints, Drawings and Illustrated Books, Jane Kinsman writes in her catalogue essay: ‘Whistler’s style and the subject matter he chose were inspirational for many significant artists of the day, including Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. Of particular consequence for the French artists was the acceptance of, and the exploration of the cityscape as an appropriate subject for art.’

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