Maunder's Fish Shop in Chelsea by James McNeill Whistler (1834 1903)

Maunder’s Fish Shop, Chelsea

Date: N.D.
Dimensions: 18 × 20.5cm
Medium: Lithograph
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by The Friends of The National Collections of Ireland


One of several images of shops that he created, Maunder’s Fish Shop, Chelsea dates to Whistler’s second period of lithography which was partly inspired by the resurgence of interest in the medium among French artists including Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard. Mrs Elizabeth Maunder’s fish-shop had been long established on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, where Whistler lived for a period (1). Chelsea is now one of the most expensive addresses in London but during the 1890s it was a largely working class neighborhood. The presence of Whistler and other artistic figures, including the Irish art dealer and collector Hugh Lane, contributed to the gentrification of the area.

1. Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours, A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven & London, 1995, p.569.

Written by Riann Coulter


About the Artist

James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903)

Born 1834, Lowell, United States. Died 1903, London, England. James McNeill Whistler was one of the most innovative and controversial artists of his generation. Born and brought up in the USA, he spent most of his professional life in London. Although Whistler is best known for his paintings which extended the boundaries of representation, he was also an innovative lithographer. Lithography was developed at the end of the eighteenth century, but had fallen out of fashion by the 1870s when Whistler began to experiment with it. Collaborating with the London printer, Thomas Way, he produced lithographs in the hope that this easily reproducible medium would bring his art to a wider public.

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