The Lime-Burner


James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), The Lime-Burner, 1859, etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on very thin Japan paper with margins
Kennedy 46, second (final) state; Lochnan 49. With small margins, 10 x 7, the sheet 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.

A very fine rich impression.

The print was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1860 under the title W. Jones, lime-burner, Thames Street. Forming the visual center of an early example of Whistler’s frame-within-a-frame compositions, the figure of Mr. Jones, although small, is nevertheless treated very much like a portrait and the name explicitly given by Whistler in the title for the Royal Academy would confirm this. The lime-burner looks straight out at the viewer while the artist’s complex perspectival devices draw us back into the depth of the image; here a passage opens a small view onto the river and even beyond to the other bank of the Thames.

Published as part of the Thames Set in 1871.