James McNeill Whistler:
Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné

Margaret F. MacDonald

Catalogue Raisonné
Publicaton Date
May 1995
Standard Number
Yale University Press
684 pages

Painter, etcher, draughtsman, lithographer, watercolourist, and author of critical essays and aphorisms, James McNeill Whistler had a tremendous influence on the art and aesthetics of his era. Born in Massachusetts in 1834, he settled in London when he was 25 years old and for the next four decades produced hundreds of highly acclaimed (and sometimes highly criticised) works, often concentrating on two or more media at the same time. His prodigious output and proficiency, along with his eccentricities, polemics, and arguments with critics, won him wide recognition. This catalogue raisonne of Whistler's drawings, pastels and watercolours makes available many of his works that have never before been exhibited or published and demonstrates the wide range of his art. His drawings reveal the everyday working out of his ideas and note the world as it passed by Whistler with vigour and humour. The pastels include sensitive portraits, vigorous studies of models in the studio, and detailed views of Venetian palaces. The watercolours, perhaps his finest works, catch the subtle colours of northern skies and ever-changing seascapes. The catalogue raisonne begins with an introductory essay on Whistler's life and includes over 1700 entries and 1600 illustrations. Every extant work by Whistler, and many now missing, have been catalogued and reproduced, many in colour.