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Early Morning

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

American Art

James McNeill Whistler credited Japanese art with having a profound impact on his own artistic activities, which included painting, printmaking, and interior decoration. Indeed, the Japanese cultivation of beauty in all aspects of material life informed his own “art for art’s sake” philosophy. This sensibility led Whistler to shift from naturalistic representation in his pictures toward more abstract, evocative arrangements of color and form in the late 1860s. In this image of London’s Battersea district across the Thames, the asymmetrical composition and emphasis on the misty atmospheric effects of early light both reveals the artist’s debt to Japanese art and transforms the urban industrial landscape into a thing of poetic beauty.
MEDIUM Lithograph (lithotint) on cream, moderately thick, smooth paper
DATES 1878
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 6 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (17.1 x 26 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Printed butterfly monogram, lower left.
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Rembrandt Club
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903). Early Morning, 1878. Lithograph (lithotint) on cream, moderately thick, smooth paper, Sheet: 6 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (17.1 x 26 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Rembrandt Club, 15.374 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 15.374_PS1.jpg)
STATE State 4/4
IMAGE overall, 15.374_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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