James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Etching and drypoint from 16 Etchings of the Thames, 150 x 226 mm., Kennedy 44 iii/iii, MacDonald 53 iv-v/v. Fine, atmospheric impression with strong drypoint work in the sky, on thin, laid japan paper with small margins; tip of the upper left margin corner lost and slight time toning. Whistler’s etched studies of the London docks were revolutionary prints for their time both for their very subject matter and for the way that detail was often expressed in the middle ground rather than the foreground. While Thames Police is one of his most crowded compositions, the verticals and horizontals play off against one another to create three-dimensional patterning while the drypoint work in the sky serves to remind us that this is a representation of a real place, not a geometric game.