Outstanding James Whistler “Draped Figure Reclining” Lithotint
We are privileged to offer, “Draped Figure Reclining” (Way 156) Lithograph printed in black, and multi colors. Published by the Kennedy Gallery in 1914 of an edition of 400. Sheet measures 7 6/8 inches by 10 1/2 inches.
Lovely image in good condition and signed with the artist monogram (the Butterfly) and the “K” from the Kennedy Edition, New York City.
This and others are all from a bound portfolio with the library collection of the Frick Library, NYC.
James McNeill Whistler (1834—1903), a towering figure in nineteenth-century art, is also one of the most important and beloved of American artists. He was first introduced to the lithographic medium in 1855 before leaving America. He returned to the medium and explored its full range in London in 1878-79, but abandoned it after finding that the market was undermined by prejudice against lithography as a commercial rather than a fine art medium. Most of his lithographs were done in London and Paris between 1887 and 1897, with an extraordinary concentration of works accomplished from 1894 to 1896. In 1890 he began to experiment with color lithography, probably to produce prints that resembled drawings colored with chalk, pastel, or watercolors.
The years of Whistler’s greatest interest in lithography correspond to the beginning of the lithographic revival in Britain and to the happy period of his marriage to Beatrix Philip (from 1888 until her death in 1896) and their sojourn in Paris.
In the late 1880s and 90s Whistler made numerous pastel drawings and lithographs of dancers and figures draped in transparent fabric. He was partly inspired by Greek ‘Tanagra’ figurines, which his friends were collecting around 1890.
Whistler made seven colour lithographs in Paris with the printer Henry Belfond in 1891—3. This image was developed as a colour print using first three and then up to six additional stones, but impressions like this were printed using only the main stone (keystone); missing elements (such as the feet) were added in the colour stones or in later states of the keystone.
Between 1878 and 1897 Whistler developed a growing enthusiasm for and commitment to this delicate, evanescent medium. He challenged himself and the medium to create the most distilled images of his career, works that capture the unfettered essence of his subject matter. At a time when lithography was generally associated with commercial printing and the garish hues of chromolithography, Whistler’s airy “drawings,” as he thought of them, were as innovative as his nearly abstract painted nocturnes. His work encompassed direct and transfer lithography as well as litho-tint.
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