The Dam Wood

Accession Number

The Dam Wood

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
drypoint on ivory laid paper

6 7/8 in. x 4 3/8 in. ( 17.5 cm x 11.1 cm )

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Subject matter
Whistler’s relationship to Frederick Leyland began to deteriorate over Whistler’s elaborate decoration of the Leyland dining room, known as the Peacock Room. His last visit to their home was in January 1875 and The Dam Wood was executed in the environs of Speke Hall.
By this date, Whistler’s work had already begun to take on a simplified composition and an elimination of details. This work depicting a stand of young trees shows just such a reductive approach. The young trees form a screen of vertical lines very near the picture plane that obscures anything in the distance; this kind of composition flattens the perception of depth and is derived from Japanese prints. Other artists were experimenting with such compositional approaches at this time, such as Camille Pissarro.

Physical Description
In a desolate, wintery landscape stand a group of leafless trees with tall grasses beyond.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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deciduous trees

& Author Notes

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