afternoon session of Swann's April 29 auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints opens with more than
90 exceptional prints by James A.M. Whistler from a private collection, offered in their
Lot 312: The
Pierrot, etching and drypoint,
1889. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.
Lot 261: Venus, etching and drypoint, 1859. Estimate $10,000 to
Whistler often referred to
his works musically, entitling several as “nocturnes,”
He found metaphor in music where his visual pieces sought to create a non-narrative
purity of emotion for the viewer in the way that musical compositions create a
mood for the listener.
Lot 301: Nocturne: Palaces, etching and drypoint, 1879-80. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.
Lot 263: The Music Room, etching and drypoint,
1859. Estimate $2,500 to $3,000.
Whistler was also known for championing
the phrase, “Art for art’s sake,” the English translation of the French credo
pour l’art.” Popular in the late 19th-century, he commended this idea: that art is truer to form once removed from its traditional moral and
didactic functions. In other words, art is most authentic when it’s made, as he said, “independent
of all claptrap.”
Lot 296: The Two
Doorways, etching and drypoint, 1879-80. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Lot 271: Rotherhithe, etching and drypoint, 1860. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
Labels: 19th and 20th century prints and drawings, etching, James A. M. Whistler, printmakers, whistler