LIVERPOOL.- A fascinating exhibition gives remarkable insights into the etchings of American artist James McNeill Whistler, one of the greatest exponents of the art form.
Whistler: The Gentle Art of Making Etchings 3 July 20 September 2009 features about 50 exquisite works drawn from the University of Glasgow s world-famous Whistler collection.
Although now best known as a painter, Whistlers reputation was originally founded on his skills as an etcher. During his career he produced some of the most technically innovative and beautiful etchings of his day.
Whistler (1834 1903) found much of his inspiration on the streets and waterways of London , Venice and Amsterdam . He also came to Liverpool and several times visited Speke Hall, the half-timbered country home of his ship-owning patron Frederick R Leyland.
In 1870 Whistler made an etching of Mrs Leyland standing in the driveway in front of the mansion. This image was created when Whistlers interest in etching was renewed and shows the influence of Japanese prints.
Sandra Penketh, head of the Lady Lever Art Gallery , says: These wonderful etchings give us the most intimate insight into Whistlers closely-observed world, where people and places are brought into sharp focus.
The exhibition includes artworks from the period 1854 to 1893 and looks at Whistlers etching techniques. Some feature the Naval Review which celebrated Queen Victoria s Golden Jubilee in 1887. Here Whistler made a number of etchings many executed from a boat on the Thames .
The exhibition has been organised by the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow .