Little Arthur

James McNeill Whistler American
Sitter Arthur Charles Haden British

Not on view

Early in 1858 Whistler went to London from Paris to recuperate from a bad fall and stayed with his sister Deborah and her husband Seymour Haden. A gifted etcher, the latter encouraged the artist’s first serious efforts in the medium. This moody image of the artist's nephew emphasizes dramatic lighting over portraiture and echoes Rembrandt whose works were collected by Haden. 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 impression belonged to Thomas Winans, a Baltimore friend who financed the artist's move to Paris in 1855; Winans kept the print in an album that descendants gave to the Museum.

Little Arthur, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching; fourth state of four (Glasgow); printed in dark brown ink on buff laid paper

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