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The "Adam and Eve," Old Chelsea

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Image of The "Adam and Eve," Old Chelsea

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James McNeill Whistler
American (1834 - 1903)

The "Adam and Eve," Old Chelsea

Late 19th century
State: Second state of two states

6 13/16 in. x 11 13/16 in. (17.3 cm x 30 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: Deanery.222
K.175 (Previous No.)
Geography: North and Central America, United States
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Prints; Etchings
Culture/Nationality: American
Collection: Deanery Collection
James Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts; in his youth he studied art in St. Petersburg, London, and Paris, settling in France after a short career as a draftsman for the U.S. Coast Survey. Although he is known primarily for his paintings, Whistler also produced numerous etchings, lithographs, and drypoints.

In 1879, Whistler was commissioned to do a series of etchings in Venice, and following his relocation to London at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (1870), he also produced etchings and lithographs depicting English landscapes and architecture.

This etching was produced and first published in 1878. It depicts a row of buildings, including a tavern, the “Adam and Eve,” on the Chelsea riverbank of the Thames in London, where several boats and barges are shown beached or sailing on the river. Whistler’s characteristic signature – a monogram of his initials within an abstract butterfly – appears at the upper left. The print hung in the Blue Room of the Deanery along with other etchings by Whistler and several works of the French master, Charles Meryon.

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