Maunder's Fish Shop, Chelsea

Accession Number

Maunder's Fish Shop, Chelsea

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
transfer lithograph on laid Japan tissue

12 9/16 x 7 7/8 in. (31.8 x 20 cm);12 9/16 x 7 7/8 in. (31.8 x 20 cm);19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in. (49 x 36.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift in memory of John Holmes

Label copy
Maunder’s Fish Shop, Chelsea
Transfer lithograph printed on laid Japan tissue
Second state of two (Way 28; Chicago 37)
Gift in memory of John Holmes, 1993/2.5
Maunder’s was a shop in Chelsea that Whistler depicted in several media, including this lithograph. His distillation of a street facade into a nearly abstract image of overall rectilinear patterning—which first appeared in the Venice etchings and reached its apogee in the Amsterdam plates—is also at work in this print of two women surveying the fish at an open-air counter; though the shapes of the buildings are regular, they do not yet fill the entire image with a claustrophobic grid.
Maunder’s is a wonderful example of the blond tonalities that Whistler sought in his lithographs; in December 1890 it was published in the periodical The Whirlwind as part of
a set of images Whistler called “songs on stone.”

Subject matter
During the 1880s, Whistler was executed images of shop fronts throughout London, particularly in Chelsea. Maunder's Fish Shop was shown in paintings as well as in this lithograph. In these works he explores the lively street life with shoppers, children, and merchants against the regular rhythms of the architecture that extends above them.

Physical Description
A scene of figures in doorways and examing goods outside a store occupies the lower portion of the image while the architecture--windows, downspouts, signs, and string courses creates a rectilinear framework of the second floor.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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