THE SHOEMAKER

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
THE SHOEMAKER
Lithograph
1896

An original James Abbott McNeill Whistler Lithograph print.

1896

Original lithograph printed in black ink on China paper.

Signed on the stone with the artist’s butterfly monogram upper center.

A superb, richly printed impression of Spink’s only state From the edition of unknown size printed by Lemercier, Paris (apart from the posthumous edition of 58 printed by Goulding in 1904).

Catalog: Spink 169; Levy 129; Way 151

6 x 8 11/16 inches

Sheet Size: 12 5/8 x 14 inches

“The Shoemaker” was one of the first lithographs that Whistler made after his acrimonious break with his London printers, the Ways. It was entitled “The Shoemaker, Dieppe” by Rosalind Birnie Philip in her 1903 inventory of the artist’s estate, and indeed it does seem to have been drawn during a period when Whistler was making frequent Channel crossings. In December 1896 he travelled from London to Bournemouth with the Pennells and the T. Fisher Unwins to spend the Christmas holidays near the sea. According to the Pennells, he was melancholy on Christmas Day because he missed being with his late wife’s family at the house on the rue du Bac in Paris. Apparently he left for France shortly thereafter and arrived in Paris on December 31. He probably crossed from Dieppe to Newhaven by steamer; the drawing for “The Shoemaker” might have been made during this journey.

There is no surviving information about the number of impressions printed by Lemercier, or what Whistler’s reaction was once he saw proofs of the image, which were printed on a variety of papers.

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