Lot 331: JAMES A. M. WHISTLER Traghetto.
03 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
JAMES A. M. WHISTLER
Etching printed in dark, brownish black on antique, cream laid paper, 1880. 214x303 mm; 8 1/2x12 inches, small to narrow margins. MacDonald's third state (of 4), before the further work on the window at the left and with the butterfly lower left distinct. Ex-collection Harris G. Whittemore (Lugt 1384a, verso; according to Lugt, Whittemore had an unrivaled collection of Rembrandt and Whistler etchings. The majority of Whittemore's Whistler etchings were purchased en masse from the Howard Mansfield collection in 1919). A superb, proof-like, early impression of this exceedingly scarce etching.
According to MacDonald, "Less than ten impressions of the first version of Traghetto are known. All have the appearance of working proofs. They were all printed in black ink, and all printed in Venice." Whistler's The Traghetto, No. 2, the second version of this subject, appeared in Twelve Etchings, his first set of Venetian etchings, published in 1880.
We have found only one other impression of this etching at auction in the past 30 years. Kennedy 190; Glasgow 231.