A sweeping panorama of a city is visible from an elevated vantage point. Bridges cross a river and boats are evident. The river occupies the right side of the composition and the curving near bank of the river dominates the left side of the work. The cityscape includes many buildings, culimnating in one large dome in the distance. There is evidence that a window ledge exists along the bottom of the image and in the distance there are blustery clouds, indicating a leaden wintery sky.
Drawn from the windows of the newly opened Savoy Hotel in London, this panorama long the north bank of the Thames shows Waterloo Bridge and the Victoria Embankment; in the distance are the dome of St. Paul's and other of London's bridges and buildings. Whistler and his wife lived in rooms on the top floor of the Savoy during Beatrix's final months before her death.
Signed on plate at l.l.: H. Robert del; l.r.: F. Janinet sculp. Printed in lower plate margin, l.: H. Robert del.; c.: Vitta cui nomen Madama, Temporis injuria pene diruta. A Paris chez l'Auteur, Place Maubert, Hotel de la Limace.; r.: F. Janinet sculp. 1778
This etching, in a pale blue, brown and gray color scheme, depicts an outdoor scene with a large Roman style building and several human figures in the foreground. One giant wall, with two large arches, with semi-circular apses behind, crosses the middle section of the composition from left to right. It intersects a massive building that has a series of vaulted chambers. Both structures have crumbling stonework and overgrown vegetation. There are several groups of women in the foreground on both sides of a river. Some are in the water washing laundry and some are standing with wash hanging on lines. There is a small dog on the shore.
This etching shows the Villa Madama, a villa along the Tiber River, outside of Rome, that was designed by Raphael and built in the early 16th c. This villa was meant to imitate the villas of Roman antiquity and included architectural elements of that period, such as massive vaults. By the time that this etching was done in the late 18th c., Villa Madama had fallen into ruin and become a location for washerwomen to do their work. Such juxtapositions of Roman architecture (particularly ruins) and picturesque figures occupying formerly grand spaces was a speciality of the French painter, Hubert Robert. Janinet's color engraving evokes watercolors of the period by French artists working in Rome, including Robert and Fragonard.
This small sketch presents a view along a waterway that passes beneath a double-arched bridge. The triangular sail of a small boat is visible just before the bridge, moored to the quai next to some sheds. A tall church with a central steeple rises on the right bank in the foreground, and two other tall buildings punctuate the middle ground and distance. The chimneys and rooflines of humbler dwellings appear on the left bank. Despite the urban setting, only a few figures may be glimpsed, including a man crossing the bridge on horseback.
Jan van Goyen avidly sketched his surroundings in his native Holland. As one of the leading landscape painters of the seventeenth-century, his drawing was as essential part of his practice in developing subjects and compositions for his paintings. Many of his sketches, often in small sketchbooks that would fit easily into a pocket, are rapid notational indications of a scene that capture only its essential outlines. This drawing is more fully developed than such sketches, but less elaborated than van Goyen's detailed drawings for paintings. He probably made the drawing on site, working swiftly and masterfully with black chalk, and later returned to the drawing to add touches of wash to create the shadows in the water and along the riverbanks.
This work portrays a view across a river, whose surface is dotted with shipping. Drawn from a very high vantage point, a roadway is seen through a screen of nearly leafless trees at the bottom of the image; in the distance the far bank of the shore is congested with buildings, some towers--particularly a large one to the right of center--and smoke blowing away and to the right from the viewer can be seen.
This view of London from the top floor of the new Savoy Hotel brings together many of Whistler's precepts about art. The flatness and division of the vertical format into horizontal strata shows his affinities with Asian art; it is a nocturne--Whistler's great signature subject; as his work was always evolving towards nuance, effacement of details, and understatement, this lithograph must be reckoned as one of his great achievements as a printmaker. It also recalls the transformation from the quotidian to the beautiful that is the aim of the artist as Whistler described it in his "Ten O'Clock" lecture in 1885:
"And when the evening mist clothes the riverside with poetry, as with a veil, and the poor buildings lose themselves in the dim sky, and the tall chimneys become campanili, and the warehouses are palaces in the night, and the whole city hangs in the heavens, and fairy-land is before us—then the wayfarer hastens home; the working man and the cultured one, the wise man and the one of pleasure, cease to understand, as they have ceased to see, and Nature, who, for once, has sung in tune, sings her exquisite song to the artist alone."
The print displays a scene from a perspective on the water, underneath the bridges. Three bridges can be seen. The first bridge is closer to the viewer, with a pier in the center left of the scene, and the truss barely visible, cutting through the top of the image at an angle. Behind the first bridge, more of the second bridge can be seen, with two piers and an arched truss. The thrid bridge is in the background, right-hand section of the scene. The bridge piers cast six shadows into the rippling water.
Intaglio print of three bridges on the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania.
Two piers of a bridge soar in the upper half of the image, including the span with pedestrians and the railing at the top of the work. In the foreground, the water and reflections at the foot of the bridge dominate. Between the piers smoke stacks can be seen in the distance.
Although "The Tall Bridge" was drawn for the publication "Piccadilly", the periodical went bankrupt and the copies that had been printed on plate paper and intended for circulation were all tossed out. Only a handful of the copies printed for "Piccadilly" were saved, of which this is one.
Whistler's low vantage point gives the twin piers of the old Battersea Bridge an heroic stature. As with "The Broad Bridge", distant views of the city are visible between the piers; the pedestrian walkway is more completely shown.
Viewed from an elevated vantage point, a curved roadway at the lower left meets a bridge that crosses a river; in hte far distance are indications of buildings along the far bank. On both the roadway and bridge can be seen horse-drawn carriages and conveyances.
Drawn from the windows of the newly opened Savoy Hotel in London, this view shows the Waterloo Bridge and the Victoria Embankment along the Thames. Whistler and his wife lived in rooms on the top floor of the Savoy during Beatrix's final months before her death.
A watercolor image of a bridge over a small mountain waterfall. The focal point of the image is the bridge, a bit off-center, that connects two small mountains that split at the point of a river. The waterfall flows down a short ways into a low, wide river. At its bank there is a dark figure, possibly a man standing by the water. Over the bridge in the background are tall and far away mountains covered in trees, they are painted in a way to seem like they are blanketed in fog.
This ink, gouache, and watercolor painting depicts a stone bridge with three rounded arches standing over a meandering river. Five figures stand in a group on the bridge’s right side. There is a sort, shrubby tree in the lower right corner and a small protruding structure in right center.
A man in a small boat with oars sits in front of a bridge, a pier of which is just behind and to the left of the boat. The viewer is also positioned on the water as only the bottom of the span is visible. Several other piers, also framed and clad with wood to protect against collision are visible on either side of the image. The distant view, seen between the piers, include a suspension bridge to the left of the central pier and the tower of a church or other buildings to the right.
Whistler's interest in Asian art, particular Japanese woodblock prints, can be seen in this view of the old Battersea Bridge. The low vantage point, truncated span of the bridge, and the form of the boatman are all inspired by prints by Hiroshige and Hokusai.
Battersea Bridge was the last remaining wooden bridge in London when Whistler painted it and was itself slated for demolition and replacement. Like many of the warehouses and sites depicted in his Thames Set which were also scheduled for elimination as part of an urban renewal project, the old Battersea Bridge evoked a nostalgia for the passing of an era.