James Abbott McNeill Whistler

An original James Abbott McNeill Whistler lithograph print.


Original lithograph printed in black ink on heavyweight tan laid Japanese (torinoko) paper.

Hand-signed with the artist’s butterfly monogram in pencil lower center, also signed on the stone with the monogram at center right.

A superb impression of the only state, from the edition of 107, numbered in pencil also lower center.  Published by André Marty, Paris, for L’Estampe originale, album IV, October-December 1893; printed by T.R. Way, London, bearing his printed legend on the stone lower left.

Catalog: Spink 72; Way 46; Levy 74.

8 3/8 x 6 3/8 inches

Sheet Size: 11 x 9 1/8 inches

The above depiction of a studio model is one of Whistler’s “tanagra figures” – a work to be enjoyed simply for its grace of line and movement – part of a series of lithographs on which he began work in the early 1890’s as a departure from his highly successful rendering of scenes from everyday life. 

The lithograph is one of 95 plates that were published in between 1893 and 1895 in L’Estampe originale, perhaps the greatest collaborative venture in the history of printmaking.  Under the direction of publisher André Marty the 95 prints by 74 international artists were published in 9 albums, the first eight containing ten prints and the ninth, the “Album de clôture”, containing 12.  The prints in L’Estampe originale preserve a comprehensive record of the diverse trends which characterize the art of the 1890’s.  They constitute a manifesto, publicly declaring the original print as a work of art and stand as a monument to the contributors whose efforts made this series in its own time an encyclopedia of contemporary printmaking and the foundation and inspiration for 20th century developments.  Whistler, one of only two American artists to be included in the program, was the only artist associated with the English School to be listed on the prospectus, indicating the level of respect accorded him by Toulouse-Lautrec and many more of the prominent French artists of the day.