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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
American, 1834–1903

Becquet

Etching and drypoint, 1859
Museum purchase, 1912.1189

J. Becquet (1829–1907) was a flamboyant musician and sculptor who lived in his studio among “disorder and his cello.” Whistler omitted much of the peripheral detail when he etched this print. The portraiture of the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) was a probable influence, as was the work of Rembrandt (1606–1669). Whistler employed the same approach as Van Dyck and Rembrandt, concentrating on the head and barely suggesting the torso, while also employing the same line character and crosshatching as Van Dyck.