James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), American
THE BROAD BRIDGE, 1878 [WAY, 8; SPINK, STRATIS & TEDESCHI, 11]
Lithograph ("Lithotint") printed in brown/black ink on smooth paper, signed with butterfly monogram in the plate lower right; with letters “Imp. T. Way Lond” in the plate to bottom right margin. Published in an unknown edition size. Published by Thomas Way for Piccadilly Magazine, issue No. 8, with wide margins.
Image/Sheet 7.2 x 11 in — 18.4 x 28 cm; 9.8 x 15 in — 25 x 38.2 cm
In 1878, the printer Mr. Thomas Way persuaded Whistler to make nine drawings, according to his son, T. R. Way, in his catalogue of Whistler's lithographs.
In the first five of these nine designs, Whistler experimented with the “lithotint” process. He delighted in working in this medium and from that project Whistler's interest and delight in the art of lithography never ceased.
Thomas Way lists 12 proof impressions, and "many hundreds" printed of this scene for the magazine Piccadilly. Spink, Stratis & Tedeschi cite only four proof impressions in public collections and only eight impressions from the published edition in Piccadilly in public collections.
“The Broad Bridge” was the only lithograph, from a proposed set of four, that was issued with the magazine Piccadilly before it went out of business two weeks after the issue was published. Since very few of the Piccadilly lithographs ("lithotints") are recorded in collections and few have surfaced at auction, the edition size was likely smaller than Way suggests. Three other Whistler lithographs intended for Piccadilly, but never published, include “Early Morning”; “The Toilet” and “The Tall Bridge”.
Mervyn Levy, “Catalogue Raisonne, Whistler Lithographs”, plate 18 to gallery label verso
Inscribed on the verso “Bought at Sotheby’s 1892” (1.14 British pounds);
Kaspar Gallery, Toronto, called a "lithotint" gallery label and typed labels verso;
From whom purchased by Dr. & Mrs. Silverstein, Toronto