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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
Artist
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Title
The Music Room
Date
1858
Medium
etching on paper
Dimensions
Plate: 5 3/4 × 8 1/2 inches (14.6 × 21.6 cm)Sheet: 7 1/4 × 9 1/2 inches (18.4 × 24.1 cm)Framed: 12 7/8 × 15 5/8 × 5/8 inches (32.7 × 39.7 × 1.6 cm)
Tags
Print
Credit Line
Gift of the family of Mrs. Elizabeth Millar Bullard.
Accession Number
1942.8
This early etching portrays Whistler’s extended family—his brother-in-law Seymour Haden reading a newspaper on the left; Haden’s medical partner, James Traer, studying at the table; and Whistler’s step-sister, Deborah Haden, poring over a thin volume on the right. The bold contrasts of light and dark in this work successfully convey the impression of a darkened room illuminated by the light of a single lamp, which casts a glare over one side of the room. Whistler pulled several proofs of The Music Room, experimenting with different types of paper and amounts of surface ink. He preferred the darker prints such as this one.