The 'Adam and Eve', Old Chelsea
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||175 x 302 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at upper left (3)|
|Set/Publication:||Hogarth and Son, 1879.|
|No. of States:||3|
|Catalogues:||K.175; M.172; W.144|
|Impressions taken from this plate (92)|
This is mainly etching, with drypoint used to add emphasis in the foreground, and delicate sky effects in the background. Lochnan comments:
'In "the Adam and Eve", Old Chelsea he suggested light by means of shadow, and the whole by drawing a part. ... Whistler's concern was not so much to express the physical nature of the structure but to create a feeling of air and atmosphere, and a composition based on oriental principles of balance and placement. In this work the eye is no longer drawn to a specific area of the composition; instead it is drawn to different areas wherever details congregate. By drawing only the shadow and the light within the shadow, Whistler created a new sense of aerial perspective which is not found in the etchings of 1859.' 19
19: Lochnan 1984, p. 178.
Early impressions were printed in black ink on medium weight 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper with Arms of Amsterdam watermark (); buff laid with a countermark, possibly 'ID' (); cream laid paper removed from a book with an old Latin inscription in brown ink on the verso (); off-white paper from a ledger (); and off-white Japanese paper (, ).
It is possible that Peter J. Platt, a copper plate printer from New York, printed impressions from the plate (which is inscribed with his name) in the period after 1905.