The Steps, Luxembourg GardensArtist(s)James Abbott McNeill WhistlerArtist NationalityAmerican (North American)Object Creation Date1893Medium & Supporttransfer lithograph with stumping on wove paperDimensions
11 3/4 in x 8 3/16 in (29.9 cm x 20.8 cm);19 5/16 in x 14 1/4 in (49 cm x 36.2 cm);11 3/4 in x 8 3/16 in (29.9 cm x 20.8 cm)Label copy
The Steps, Luxembourg Gardens
Transfer lithograph with stumping
Only state (Way 43; Chicago 68)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.437
Like his impressionist contemporaries in this period, Whistler was interested in depicting public life in the modern city, here in an important public garden in Paris. These spare pictures use a nuanced approach that suggests, rather than fully describes, the subject, and in them he uses a remarkable range of touches. Here a combination of manmade structures and luxuriant foliage is delicately softened by an innovative use of the stump.Subject matter
Whistler drew several lithographs in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. This work shows one of the grand staircases leading to the terraces that fringe the sunken garden.
Whister was also further experimenting on the use of the stump which had worked so successfully in his Brittany lithographs.Physical Description
A broad set of steps leading up to a tree-lined terrace are the main features of this work. Figures on the terrace and a sculpture of putti supporting an urn or pot are visible at the top of the stairs; in the left foreground, a woman and little girl are climbing the stairs.Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaWesternRights
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gardens (open spaces)
steps (stair units)