James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘The Doorway’, 1879-1880, David Tunick, Inc.

Watermark: A post horn in a crowned shield with the letters “WR” below

Signature: Signed in pencil on the tab with the butterfly and “imp.” lower left; signed in the plate with the butterfly

Kennedy 188, sixth state of seven;
Glasgow 193, eleventh state of twenty, with the vertical shading along the risers of the steps, to the left of the girl, but before the addition of horizontal drypoint lines along the left side of the girl’s brow and hair

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York;
Wm. Doyle Galleries; Dec. 9, 1981, to
David Tunick, Inc., New York; 1983 to
Coe Kerr Gallery, New York; to
Private collection, U.S.A.

About James Abbott McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler changed the course of art history with his radical techniques and adoption of Asian design principles, which emphasized a two-dimensional flattening of painted forms and their arrangement into abstract patterns. A London-based expatriate, Whistler embraced and promoted the doctrine that art should not serve narrative, but rather project the artist’s subjective feelings through the handling of the medium. His revolutionary methods changed existing approaches to oil paint, pastel, watercolor, etching—even interior design and the decorative arts. The flat, expressive, and radically simplified forms in his Venice pastels, and his use of fluid blue and gray pigments in his abstract nocturnes, altered how his contemporaries like Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas saw and understood art. He scandalously named one of his most famous paintings Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 (1871), suggesting the reduction of a portrait of his mother to an arrangement of formal elements.

American, 1834-1903, Lowell, Massachusetts