James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

In an old district of Amsterdam, Whistler represents two figures emerging from a shadowed workshop at the edge of a canal. Leaning against a slender post, a young man clad in an apron looks across the water as his female companion dips a cloth into it. The still, dark, reflective surface fills the foreground and doubles the forms, and the title, Pierrot, evokes a tragicomic commedia dell’arte character suggested by the pallor of the man’s face. The print belongs to a set the artist made in Amsterdam during a two-month stay in early fall 1889, following his summer marriage to Beatrice Philip, the widow of architect Edward William Godwin.

Pierrot, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching and drypoint, printed in dark brown ink on medium weight ivory laid paper; sixth state of eight (Glasgow)

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