The Kitchen

James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

This image of a rustic kitchen in Lutzelbourg, a town in Alsace, belongs to a group of etchings known as the "French Set." They were Whistler’s first published prints, issued in Paris in 1858 by Auguste Delâtre and formally titled "Douze eaux-fortes d’après nature" (Twelve Etchings from Nature). The twenty-one-year-old artist had moved to Paris from Washington, D.C., three years earlier. Encouraged by his British brother-in-law the amateur etcher Seymour Hayden, Whistler traveled through northeastern France and the Rhineland, sketching and etching several plates in situ. He completed the plate for this print after returning to Paris. The strong contrasts of light and shade demonstrate an appreciation for Dutch models and anticipate Whistler’s mature etchings.

The Kitchen, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching, printed in dark brown ink on buff chine on off-white wove paper (chine collé); second state of three (Glasgow)

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