The Cliffs of West Street, New York

Joseph Pennell, 1908

WAG 1567

About this object

As suggested by the print’s title, Pennell saw skyscrapers as man-made mountains constructed by the great steelworks he so admired. From a distance these structures lack individuality and become massive, looming mounds. Pennell’s low view point emphasises their height and dominance. The sandpaper aquatint technique removes the linear quality usually present in an etching and replaces it with large simple forms that enhance the reflected light.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Joseph Pennell (American, born:1857-07-04, died:1926-04-23)
  • Date
    1908
  • Materials
    Paper; Sandpaper-ground; Aquatint; Ink
  • Measurements
    plate mark: 25.5 cm x 32.6 cm
  • Physical description
    View of a line of buildings shown in a tonal technique and appear as solid heavy forms. The buildings are shown as white and tower above the smaller shaded buildings in front of them.
  • Related people
    Joseph Pennell (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1567
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery from the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition in 1909
  • Location
    Lady Lever Art Gallery, Room 17, Whistler & Pennell: Etching the City Exhibition
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: J Pennell imp
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Below plate; Centre
  • Inscription text: J Pennell imp
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Below plate; Centre
  • Inscription text: Aquatint (sand paper ground) The Cliffs of West Street New York
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Below plate; Centre
Object view = Fine Art
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