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The Embroidered Curtain

Accession Number
1954/1.407

Title
The Embroidered Curtain

Artist(s)
James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1889

Medium & Support
etching and drypoint, printed in dark brown ink on laid paper

Dimensions
9 3/8 in. x 6 5/16 in. ( 23.8 cm x 16 cm )

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
The Embroidered Curtain
1889
Etching and drypoint
Seventh state of seven (Kennedy 410)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.407
The title of this print, The Embroidered Curtain, both refers to its subject and characterizes the composition’s carefully structured interplay of pale and dark areas filled with an intricate web of lines. The shapes of the windowpanes—the predominant geometric forms—are repeated by the upright rectangles of the windows and the similarly proportioned rectangle of the plate itself. The strictly frontal view, the cropping of the image, and the shallow space all contribute to the highly abstract effect. Even Whistler’s butterfly signature at the upper left, always used as an opportunity to insert a decorative element, is treated in much the same way as the reliefs set into the fabric of the brick second story. The dark aquatic environment conveyed through the intricate line work is enhanced by the use of warm black or brown ink.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Amsterdam
buildings
canals
canals (waterways)
doorways
façades
stair
street scenes
water
window
windows

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display