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Old Putney Bridge

A major proponent of Aestheticism and Japonisme, James McNeill Whistler also helped to revitalize etching as a serious, creative pursuit. His appreciation fro this medium was fostered, in part, by close study of etchings by the seventeenth-century Dutch master Rembrandt. For his own prolific output, Whistler often went out into the streets of London (where he settled in 1859), capturing urban views directly onto plates. Back in the studio, he would painstakingly experiment with inking processes and the timing of the acid bath, refining his original conceptions to create prints of great technical and visual complexity. Internationally acclaimed and exhibited, Whistler's etchings exerted a strong influence on a younger generation of American painter-etchers.

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