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Old Putney Bridge

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

American Art

A major proponent of Aestheticism and Japonisme, James McNeill Whistler also helped to revitalize etching as a serious, creative pursuit. His appreciation for this medium was fostered, in part, by close study of etchings by the seventeenth-century Dutch master Rembrandt. For his own prolific output, Whistler often went out into the streets of London (where he settled in 1859), capturing urban views directly onto plates. Back in the studio, he would painstakingly experiment with inking processes and the timing of the acid bath, refining his original conceptions to create prints of great technical and visual complexity. Internationally acclaimed and exhibited, Whistler’s etchings exerted a strong influence on a younger generation of American painter-etchers.
MEDIUM Black ink on handmade laidpaper with a watermark and a countermark
DATES 1879
DIMENSIONS Image: 8 x 11 3/4 in. (20.3 x 29.8 cm) Sheet: 11 13/16 x 15 7/8 in. (30 x 40.3 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Watermark: "PRO PATRIA" with a lion and a female figure within a fence-like circle Countermark: "LVG" On verso, Henry Harper Benedict's collector's mark stamped in black, "HHB" monogram Pro Patria watermark in paper
SIGNATURE Signed butterfly monogram with "imp." in graphite below lower right corner of plate; signed butterfly monogram followed by "x x [v or n?]" in graphite at lower right of sheet; printed monogram at lower center of plate
INSCRIPTIONS On verso, inscribed in graphite at lower left of sheet: "K. IV of IV" On verso, inscribed in graphite: "E3863"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Guy Mayer
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903). Old Putney Bridge, 1879. Black ink on handmade laidpaper with a watermark and a countermark, Image: 8 x 11 3/4 in. (20.3 x 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Guy Mayer, 51.238.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 51.238.1_PS1.jpg)
STATE 4th State
IMAGE overall, 51.238.1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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