The Wine Glass
|Size:||83 x 55 mm|
|Signed:||'Whistler' at lower left|
|No. of States:||2|
|Catalogues:||K.27; M.27; T.28; W.31|
|Impressions taken from this plate (40)|
'Le verre à vin' (1859, Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910)). 3
'The wine glass' (1872, British Museum). 4
'Wine Glass' (1874, Ralph Thomas, Jr (1840-1876)). 5
'A Wine Glass' (1881, Union League Club). 6
'The Wine Glass' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 7
'Wineglass' (1891, Whistler). 8
'The Wine-Glass' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 9
Wedmore's title 'The Wine Glass' has been accepted as definitive.
10: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 26).
Wedmore commented reverently, 'This is the only still-life piece ever wrought by Mr Whistler. It gleams like a De Heem or a Blaise Desjoffe.' 11 This was rather overstating the case. Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-1684) was one of the finest Dutch still-life painters, and paintings such as his sumptuous Fruits et riche vaisselle sur une table, 1640 (musée du Louvre) contain glittering images of glass and silver that outshine Whistler's study. Among Wedmore's contemporaries, Alexandre Blaise Desgoffe (1830-1901), a French painter of still life, was admired for depicting crystal and jewelry, such as Objects of Art from the Louvre, 1874 (Metropolitan Museum of Art). 12
11: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 31).
12: See de Heem in www.louvre.fr; and Desgoffe, oil on canvas, 73 x 92.1 cm, 87.15.119 in www.metmuseum.org (acc. 2012).
Other comparable studies include A glass of water on a table etched by Edward John Poynter (1836-1919) in 1860, 15 and a charcoal drawing of A Wine Glass by Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) dating from about 1858. 16 Haden's A Wine Glass was half-full, not the same (empty) one etched by Whistler, but drawn about the same time. Both Haden and Whistler were, Lochnan suggests, influenced by Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1617-1681): 'The scale, style and subjects recall Rembrandt, and it is more than likely that Whistler was poring over Haden's growing Rembrandt collection at this time'. 17
Rembrandt's The Shell (1850), with its richly cross-hatched shadows and exprssive detail, is certainly a possible influence on Whistler's etching. 18
13: Pennell 1908 , p. 217.
14: 1864, i.e. Indianapolis Museum of Art, 47.124 at http://www.imamuseum.org (acc. 2012).
15: Etching and drypoint, British Museum 1980,0201.1.
16: Albright-Knox Art Gallery 1891:3.213 at http://www.albrightknox.org (accessed 2012).
17: Lochnan 1984 , pp. 59-60.
18: British Museum PD 1868-8-22-672 (Hind 248, Bartsch 159) http://www.britishmuseum.org (acc. 2012).