Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Nocturne (Nocturne: The Thames at Battersea)

Artist:
James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London)
Date:
1878
Medium:
Lithotint with scraping, on a prepared half-tint ground, second state of two (Chicago), printed in soft gray-black ink on pale blue laid chine mounted on ivory wove plate paper
Dimensions:
Image: 6 3/4 × 10 3/16 in. (17.1 × 25.9 cm) Sheet: 13 1/2 × 19 5/16 in. (34.3 × 49 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.3.159
Not on view
Born in New England, Whistler studied painting in Paris and then based himself in London. There he demonstrated that making prints could be as serious an artistic pursuit as painting. Representing the river Thames, then the lagoons of Venice, Whistler developed subtle tonal variations that alluded dreamily to a triumph of water and air over substance.
In this early lithograph, Whistler worked directly on the stone (rather than using transfer paper), applying washes of ink to achieve striking atmospheric effects. The artist printed this river subject in 1878, the year in which his libel case against the art critic John Ruskin—involving Ruskin's attack on one of Whistler's painted "Nocturnes"—was heard. Though Whistler won the case, the court costs forced him to declare bankruptcy in the following year.
Signature: In the stone: butterfly monogram, lower right
Harris Brisbane Dick; Vendor: Dick Estate, U.S. Trust
Way 5; Chicago 8 ii/ii; Levy 10-11
Thomas Robert Way Mr. Whistler's Lithographs: The Catalogue. George Bell & Sons, London, 1896, cat. no. 5.

Mervyn Levy Whistler Lithographs An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné. Jupiter Books, London, 1975, cat. no. 10, 11.

Katharine A. Lochnan, Dr. Martha Tedeschi, Harriet K. Stratis, Nesta R. Spink The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler Volumes I and II. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1998, cat. no. I.63.8 ii/ii.



Related Objects

Le "Ten O'Clock" de M. Whistler

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London) Date: 1888 Medium: Letterpress Accession: 33.32.1 On view in:Not on view

Billingsgate

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London) Date: 1859 Medium: Etching and drypoint; nineth state of nine (Glasgow) ; black ink on medium weight buff laid paper Accession: 60.598.86 On view in:Not on view

The Thames

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London) Date: 1896 Medium: Lithotint with scraping; third state of three (Chicago); printed in black ink on ivory laid paper Accession: 17.3.248 On view in:Not on view

Stéphane Mallarmé

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London) Date: 1892 Medium: Transfer lithograph, drawn on thin, transparent transfer paper; only state (Chicago); printed in gray-black ink on ivory laid paper Accession: 17.3.211 On view in:Not on view

Balcony, Amsterdam

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London) Date: 1889 Medium: Etching and drypoint; fourth state of four (Glasgow); printed in dark brown ink on ivory Japan tissue Accession: 57.531.15 On view in:Not on view