Palaces in the Night
The urban landscape in Whistler’s prints
This second exhibition of the Fitzwilliam's collection of etchings, drypoints and lithographs by the American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) is devoted to the cityscapes for which he is most celebrated as a printmaker.
The exhibits range from the early 'French set' of the 1850s to the late etchings of Brussels and Amsterdam. Whistler's move from crisp realism to atmospheric impressionism is wonderfully demonstrated by his etchings of London and the Thames, which by the late 1870s approach the poetry of his Venetian views, 'when the evening mist clothes the riverside with poetry, as with a veil ... and the tall chimneys become campanile - and the warehouses are palaces in the night.'
Exhibited for the first time will be the spectacular impression of The Doorway, one of two Venetian etchings recently acquired with the help of the Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.