The Fine Art Society is staging the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of prints by James McNeill Whistler for 45 years at 148 New Bond Street, London from 5th to 28th April.
As The Fine Art Society celebrates its 140th anniversary, this show features one of the first and most illustrious artists represented by the gallery, whose printmaking was crucial in forging his career and reputation.
There are 80 works, reflecting each phase of his work as an etcher. Early works include studies of his family and prints published in the French Set in 1858. This was followed by the etchings of the Thames which were the foundation of his reputation.
The famous Venice set, commissioned by The Fine Art Society and first exhibited in the gallery in 1883 will also be on show.
The exhibition includes a number of Whistler’s rare Amsterdam etchings. He discussed their publication with The Fine Art Society in 1889, but the set was never issued. The artist considered them his greatest achievement.
Whistler’s long association with The Fine Art Society makes this exhibition an appropriate way to mark the 140th anniversary. Whistler is one of the small group of artists whose work as a printmaker would ensure their importance in the history of art. He stands with Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya and Picasso in this quality.