James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

La vieille aux loques (The Old Rag-Picker) London, 1858  Etching 20.6 x 14.6 cm  An old woman sits in a doorway absorbed in sorting rags. Although the rag picker is shown as poor and frail, her focus and disengagement from the viewer creates a calm and contemplative image. The framing device of the doorway ensures … Read more

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)

The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles London, about 1896 Pen and black ink  25.7 x 17.6 cm  This drawing was published in the 1896 edition of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1714). Beardsley’s drawing illustrates the moment the heroine Belinda attacks the Baron (opposite) with her fan after discovering he has … Read more

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)

Merz V Berlin, 1923 Lithograph Paper: 55 x 44.5 cm; mount: 81 x 61 cm  This print is a combination of abstract, geometric forms and is one of a series of six works called ‘Merz Mappe’. Freshly printed fragments of paper, discarded from the printing process, were applied to a lithographic stone to create this … Read more

Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)

Apple Tree at Auvers (Pommiers à Auvers) Auvers, 1877 Etching on laid handmade paper, third state Plate: 18 x 27.5 cm; mount: 40.5 x 55.7 cm This print was made a year before Daubigny’s death in 1878. A peasant figure makes a path through the landscape equipped with tools for the cultivation of nature. The … Read more

Peter Herwegen (1814-1893)

Memories Germany, 1873 Watercolour over pencil, partly highlighted with gouache in gold 32.6 x 44 cm This watercolour is an allegory of the arts commissioned by the Buhler family of Berne. Alongside the attributes of painting, sculpture and architecture the intricate gothic design includes the Swiss city’s heraldic bear and key landmarks. The composition emulates … Read more

Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

A Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, ‘Froanna’ (Gladys Anne Hoskins 1900-1979) America, 1940 Pencil and coloured chalks on blue paper 48.3 x 31 cm This portrait of the artist’s wife Gladys Hoskins (1900-1979), known as Froanna, was made in America where Lewis spent the war years. The artist bought the distinctive blue paper in a … Read more

Jacques Beltrand (1874 – 1977)

La Baigneuse (The Bather) France, about 1910 Colour woodcut 19.1 x 18.8 cm Beltrand helped pioneer the use of water-based pigments in printing in France, inspired by Japanese printmaking techniques. Water based inks can produce subtle and delicate images, whereas more traditional Western woodcuts are often use oil based inks and are bolder or harsher in … Read more

Augustus John (1878-1961)

Nude Girl Standing London or Paris, about 1906 Etching 19 x 11.5 cm  A young naked woman stands with her knee upon a bed. Her pensive expression and downturned eyes suggest intimacy and naturalness. The loose, hastily etched lines highlight the mass and unevenness of her body rather than idealising her figure. The model is … Read more

Agostino Tassi (1578-1644)

Musicians  Rome, 17th century Pen and brown iron gall ink over black chalk on paper 12.1 x 15.4 cm Three comparable sheets of groups of music-makers are at the British Museum, a group of five standing musicians was with Christie’s in 2003 and three separate figure studies engaged in playing an instrument are at the … Read more