The Fiddler (Becquet)

Dundee Art Galleries & Museum: 272-1987-332

Artist: Whistler, James Abbott McNeill

Date: 1859

State: 3/6

Size: 19.1 x 31.1 cm

Medium: Etching and Drypoint

Alternative Title(s) J. Becquet, Sculptor
Details Etching and drypoint. Black ink on ivory wove (possibly Asian) paper. Over ninety impressions are known.

Detailed information concerning the Whistler prints held in The Orchar Collection comes from the University of Glasgow’s excellent Whistler Etchings Project. (Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné, University of Glasgow, 2012, on-line website at Considerable thanks are due to Professor MacDonald for allowing us to use their research in these entries.

The original title, The Fiddler, is still often used to identify this piece. In fact the instrument is actually a cello and Becquet was not a musician but a sculptor. The sitter is Just Becquet (1829-1907) a friend of Whistler’s. A later impression of this subject was used as part of The Thames Set: A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on The Thames and other Subjects, published by Ellis and Green in London in 1871.

Catalogue Entry
  1. Edward G. Kennedy, The Etched Work of Whistler. New York, Grolier Club, 1910 (52)
  2. Howard Mansfield, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etchings and Dry-Points of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Chicago, Caxton Club, 1909 (52)
  3. Ralph Thomas, A Catalogue of the Etchings and Drypoints of J.A M. Whistler. London, John Russell Smith, 1874 (54)
  4. Sir Frederick Wedmore, Whistler’s Etchings: a Study and a Catalogue. London, Thibaudeau, 1886 (48)
  5. Whistler Etchings Project (62)
Other Collections (UK)
  1. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK
  2. British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, London, UK
  3. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK
  4. Hunterian Art Gallery Collections, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  5. Victoria and Albert Museum: Print Collection, London, UK
  6. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

See the Whistler Etchings Project for a list of impressions.

  1. Emmanuel Bénézit, Dictionary of Artists. Paris, Gründ, 2006
  2. Rodney K. Engen, Dictionary of Victorian Engravers, Print Publishers and Their Works. Cambridge, Chadwyck-Heley, 1979
  3. Kenneth M. Guichard, British Etchers 1850-1940. London, Robin Garton Ltd., 1977
  4. Katharine A. Lochnan, The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1984
  5. Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1995
  6. William Rough, ‘A cluster of butterflies: James Guthrie Orchar and his collection of Whistler etchings and drypoints’, Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History, Volume 16, 2011-12