James Abbott McNeill Whistler
11 of 17 portraits by William Heinemann
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
published by William Heinemann, after William Nicholson
lithographic reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut, published 1899 (1897)
10 5/8 in. x 9 3/4 in. (270 mm x 248 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1980
Sitterback to top
- James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Painter and etcher. Sitter in 15 portraits, Artist associated with 4 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
This woodcut pays homage to Whistler's full-length male portraiture by means of the sitter's pose, his emergence from a dark flat background, and the sharp contrast between black evening dress and the white accents of shirt front and cuff (as can be seen in the example shown left). It was first published in the New Review in September 1897, at which time Whistler's reputation was at its height. When sitting for the portrait at his Fitzroy Street studio, the artist proudly wore his Légion d'Honneur, reflected here in the tiny crimson dash at his lapel.
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's studio, Fitzroy Street, Fitzrovia, London)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- William Nicholson: Radical Woodcuts (26 March 2013 - 31 October 2013)
Events of 1899back to top
Current affairsGeorge Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Curzon, is appointed Viceroy of India, pursuing a mixed policy of forceful control and conciliation. Curzon's inquiries into Indian administration result in legislation in areas including education, irrigation, and policing. The Board of Education is created to co-ordinate the work of higher grade elementary schools, county technical schools and endowed grammar schools, also setting up a register of teachers.
Art and scienceThe Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmits the first wireless telegraph, between France and England across the English Channel, a distance of 32 miles. Marconi's production of waves over long distances lays the foundations for the development of the radio. Later this year, Marconi demonstrates his invention in America, at the Cup yacht race, and for the American navy.
InternationalOutbreak of the second Boer war, fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Despite a disastrous start, Britain quickly won the war, although guerilla warfare continued until 1902, leading to the introduction of concentration camps by British commander Lord Kitchener, a measure which contributes to the British public's growing disillusionment with the campaign.
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