James McNeill Whistler, 'The Lime Burner'

James McNeill Whistler, 'The Lime Burner'

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
'The Lime Burner'
Etched 1859, printed and published 1871

Etching (Kennedy 46, State II, as published in A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871)
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides
Museum no. CAI 150

In his etchings Whistler aimed to create the scenes of 'modern life' called for by Baudelaire. To this end, he often introduced the figures of workmen, boatmen or loungers in the foreground of the 'Thames Set' images. Here, however, the figure - 'W. Jones, Lime-burner of Thames Street' - is made the central element, while the view to the river beyond becomes almost incidental.