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James Abbott McNeill Whistler. 1834-1903.

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The Long Gallery, Louvre. 1894. Lithograph. Way 52; Levy 83; Tedeschi, Stratis and Spink 146. 8 3/8 x 5 3/4 (sheet 11 x 8). As published in The Studio, 1894, with their blindstamp. Printed on the full sheet of cream wove paper. Monogrammed with the butterfly in the stone. $825.

According to Tedeschi, Stratis and Spink, "During his first sojourn in Paris as a student, Whistler copied paintings in the Louvre and would certainly have frequented the longest room in the great complex, the Grande Galerie. The gallery was divided into six bays and, at its eastern end, adjoined the Salon Carré, which contained the 'gems of the collection.' Whistler's lithograph shows the eastern bay of the Grande Galerie, where paintings by masters of the Italian High Renaissance were displayed. His choice of subject matter follows the eighteenth-century tradition of depicting groups of spectators studying and copying works of art in museums and princely collections. Whistler captured not only the scale ofthe long room, but also the quality of light and the glassy character of its highly polished floor. With only a minimal use of the stump in the half-dome above the doorway, he durther emphasized the depth of the view" (pp. 269-270).

During his first stay in Paris in the 1850's, Whistler spent ours in the Louvre, learning and copying from the great masterpieces. Years later he was able to recreate the vast expanse of this exhibition hall and to capture visitors at their various activities.

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