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The Tall Bridge
1878

James McNeill Whistler , (American, 1834-1903)


Lithotint on paper
H: 27.6 W: 18.1 cm
United States

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1888.22

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Unlike Whister's early lithotints that were drawn directly on the printing stone, The Broad Bridge was based on a preliminary charcoal drawing. Whistler traced the drawing onto his stone, going over the resulting outline with a crayon before completing the design by adding washes. When he was almost finished, he scraped away some of the tone to lighten the sky between piers and add highlights to the water. Although the image is in reverse, the view is through the wooden piers of old Battersea Bridge, with the warehouses and smokestacks of Battersea silhouetted against the sky.

Whistler lithographs are identified by "C." numbers as described in The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998). This print is C12.