The Unsafe Tenement (The Old Farm)

James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

Whistler found this dilapidated building during a summer tour of Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland. He carried sketchbooks, etching needles and copper plates, etching about six plates between mid-August and October. Such restraint suggests many preparatory sketches and careful planning before needle touched copper. Crumbling architecture is here given an unidealized individuality in a way that echoes how realist painters approached the human figure. In November 1858, Whistler included the print in his first published set, "Douze eau-fortes d'apres Nature" ("Twelve Etchings from Nature"), known as the "French Set." This is a later reprinting.

The Unsafe Tenement (The Old Farm), James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching; fourth state of four (Glasgow); printed in black ink on medium weight tan antique laid paper

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