Early Morning

A work made of lithotint with scraping, on a prepared half-tint ground, in black on cream wove proofing paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lithotint with scraping, on a prepared half-tint ground, in black on cream wove proofing paper.

Date:

1878

Artist:

James McNeill Whistler
American, 1834-1903

About this artwork

Whistler experimented with the expressive potential of lithography, and in the case of his rare lithotints, he applied washes of ink directly to the stone to create veils of pigment. The result is a nuanced representation of light and fog, as is seen in these evocations of life on London’s Thames River. At the time he produced these prints, Whistler was involved in a lawsuit with the famed English art critic John Ruskin, who had argued that the abstraction of one of Whistler’s painted Nocturnes defied the unwritten laws of aesthetics. Despite the notoriety—and bankrupting cost—of the legal case, Whistler persisted in his exploration of abstraction.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

James McNeill Whistler

Title

Early Morning

Origin

United States

Date

1878

Medium

Lithotint with scraping, on a prepared half-tint ground, in black on cream wove proofing paper

Inscriptions

Signed with butterfly on stone, lower left, in image

Dimensions

165 x 269 mm (image); 256 x 379 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of the Crown Family in honor of James N. Wood

Reference Number

2004.530

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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