Eye Candy for Today: Whistler etching, Fumette

Fumette, etching whistler
Fumette, etching whistler (details)

Fumette, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, etching, roughly 6 x 4″ (16 x 11 cm)

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project, original of this version of the print is in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery.

You can see other versions of the print in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

In this portrayal of his mistress Heloise — who was known as “Fumette” because of her temper — Whistler has brought his considerable etching skills to a study of value contrasts, darks against lights and lights against darks in her clothing and in the framing of her face by her dark hair.

I particularly love how loose and casual his hatching appears in the lower areas of the skirt.

Whistler created a number of etchings of Fumette, some of which you can also see on the site of the Freer Gallery.

 
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