Eye Candy for Today: Whistler etching of Annie Haden

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint etching

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint etching

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint, roughly 19 x 13 inches (35 x 21 cm).

This printing of the plate is in the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, which has both a zoomable and downloadable version of the file. (The museum has a collection of Whistler’s work, presumably in his role as an American artist who took much interest in and inspiration from Asian art, design and culture.) I’ve taken the liberty of lightening the image somewhat, so you can see the details better.

This is one of several etchings and drypoints Whistler made of his neice, Annie Haden, at verious ages. This one is a particularly beautiful and extensively refined composition. Annie is posed rather formally in a long cape and skirt; her head is tilted and she looks directly at the viewer.

I suppose you could interpret her expression in several ways, one of which might be tired resignation at the boring task of posing, yet again, for her uncle.

The print is a good example of Whistler’s mastery of subtle drypoint linework.

Drypoint is a printmaking technique related to — and often combined with — etching, in which lines are incised directly into the plate with an etching needle, rather being etched into the plate with acid. This often leaves a burr of metal at the side of the incised line, giving the lines a soft, slightly rough feeling.

One Reply to “Eye Candy for Today: Whistler etching of Annie Haden”

  1. Thank you for sharing this one amazing work from Whistler. I really like the details on the hand.

Comments are closed.