James McNeill Whistler and Watercolour: Making and Meaning


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James McNeill Whistler
American: 1834–1903
Note in grey and silver – Oyster Fleet 1884/5
Watercolour Signed with a butterfly
The Whistler Estate, presented by Rosalind Birnie Philip, 1935

Thin, horizontal bands of paint contrast with the broader wash of the sky where the paper grain is sometimes allowed to show through. The blurred edges of the boats and butterfly signature indicate they have been painted in while the paper was damp. The watercolour was possibly painted on the Colne or Thames estuary and probably exhibited at Dowdeswell, London, in 1886. GLAHA 46093

Note in grey and silver – Oyster Fleet 1884/5