American and European Prints

Over 400 years of European and American printmaking can be viewed and studied at Hill-Stead – from three late 15th- to early 16th-century engravings by Albrecht Dürer, to four 18th-century Vedute di Roma by Giovanni Battista, and over 20 original works by artists involved in the mid-to-late 19th-century Etching Revival – including Felix Braquemond, Charles Meryon, Jean-François Millet, James McNeill Whistler and others. The 16 etchings and lithographs, displayed here by Whistler, tracing his life and 40-year career, are a focal point of this group hanging on the wall of the Main Stairway at Hill-Stead.

Also in the Pope collection is the only known print from the seventh state of Mary Cassatt’s Gathering Fruit, and the 11th print of a limited edition of 15 of Double Portrait of Madame Juan Gris by Henri Matisse. A complete list of all American and European prints can be found at the bottom of this page.

Félix Bracquemond (French, 1833-1914)

Félix Bracquemond played a key role in the Etching Revival that took place in Europe and England, ca. 1850-1890. He was one of the founding members of the Société des Aquafortistes (Society of Etchers), whose goal was to promote the painter-printmaker as a creator of original works of art, rather than one who used the medium merely to reproduce paintings. He guided painters such as Degas, Pissarro, Cassatt, Manet, and Whistler in their printmaking techniques. He also is credited with bringing the Japanese ukiyo-e (woodblock) to the attention of these artists.

Hill-Stead Prints Gamecock by Bracqmond

Photo by Deborah Key

Gamecock or The Old Cock
Etching, ca. 1882

In Gamecock, Bracquemond portrays a rooster motif that was taken from a page in Katsushika Hokusai’s Manga (sketch books).

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)

Dürer’s enormous oeuvre consists of woodcuts and engravings, paintings, preparatory and independent drawings. He was also a prolific writer, with treatises on measurement, fortification, proportion and artistic theory, as well as a detailed diary of a Netherlands journey in 1520-21. He was the main channel through which Italian Renaissance forms and ideas were introduced to the North, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance. His greatest influence was through his graphic work, and he is one of the supreme masters of woodcut and copper engraving. Dürer exerted a huge influence on the artists of succeeding generations; his technique, subjects, designs, and style spread all over Europe, and even had considerable influence in Italy. He extended the range of woodcut and engraving by perfecting the technique of both, and raised the standard of graphic art by the training he gave workmen who executed his designs.

Hill-Stead Prints by Albrecht Durer-2 Melencolia

Photo by Deborah Key

Melencolia I
Copper engraving, 1514
9 3/8 x 7 7/16 in. (23.8 x 18.8 cm.)

Melencolia I is considered to be one of Dürer’s three masterworks. It depicts an artist awaiting his muse. Scattered around the scene are metal and wood carving tools, an hourglass, a scale, keys, a polyhedron, a highlighted sphere, and a magic square. The magic square consists of 16 boxes, each with a number inside it; when added together, in any direction, the numbers equal a sum of 34.

Hill-Stead Prints by Albrecht Durer

Photo by Deborah Key

The Rape of Anemone or The Sea Monster
Copper engraving, ca.1498
9 15/16 x 7 ½ in (25.3 x 19 cm.)

This print is an example of Dürer combining German detail, as is seen in Nuremberg castle on the hilltop, with the ornamentation of the Italian-Renaissance that he observed on his trips to Italy. It is a depiction of Anemone looking over her shoulder as she clings to the back of the monster swimming away from shore.

Hill-Stead Prints by Albrecht Durer-3

Photo by Deborah Key

The Virgin and Child Crowned by Two Angels
Copper engraving, 1518
5 13/16 x 3 15/16 in (14.7 x 19 cm.)

The Virgin and Child is one of only two copper engravings done by Dürer between 1514 and 1519. Religious scenes, especially of the Virgin, dominated his work in his later years. This print shows a mother and child seated in a garden. Above the mother’s head, two angels hover holding a weighty crown.

Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883)

Abstinthe Drinker

Photo by Anne Day

Absinthe Drinker
Ink wash on paper, ca. 1875-1880
8.3 x 6.3 in. (21 x 16 cm)
Inscription lower right: E.M

Manet created many versions of his absinthe drinker; this is one of his last. The artist first created the figure in the late 1850s, resulting in a large oil painting, The Absinthe Drinker, rejected by the judges for the official Paris Salon of 1859. His early compositions lacked both the bottle of liqueur and its accompanying glass, both characteristic of a contemporary drunkard, but necessary for the depiction of the man as such. In the following years, during the early 1860s, Manet continued to develop this character in a number of etchings, this time facing to the right but still covered by a large, dark cloak. He also included the figure in The Old Musician (1862), a large oil painting now at The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Manet composed this character for the last time in lithographic ink between 1875 and 1880 in the work that now hangs in the Drawing Room at Hill-Stead Museum.

This composition features all three components that Manet worked over a decade to develop: the cloaked figure, the liqueur glass, and the bottle of absinthe.

Charles Méryon (French, 1821-1868)

The work produced during the short career of etcher and printmaker Charles Méryon was considered to be the finest of his generation, and was admired by fellow printmakers Félix Bracquemond, James McNeill Whistler, Edgar Degas and other notable artists and critics of the time.

Petit PontLe Petit Pont
Etching, 1850

Hill-Stead Prints La Pompe Notre-Dame

Photo by Deborah Key

La Pompe Notre-Dame

Méryon is best known for a series of 22 plates created from 1850 to 1854, Eaux-fortes sur Paris (Etchings of Paris), which included 13 major etchings focusing on the Medieval and Renaissance buildings and bridges in the old section of Paris set to be demolished during the 1852-1857 “modernization” of the city by Napoleon III and Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann.

The Pope collection includes three of these etchings: Le Petit Pont; La Pompe Notre-Dame; and the fourth state of La Morgue.

Hill-Stead Prints La Morgue _

Photo by Deborah Key

La Morgue
Etching, 1854
Fourth state

La Morgue is considered by many print connoisseurs to be Méryon’s finest etching in his use of the chiaroscuro effect seen in the rooftops and windows of the buildings as they descend in a succession of levels to the public laundry barges in the Seine below. Méryon included the human drama of this scene by placing a crowd on the parapet looking down as a corpse is pulled from the river and women weep and faint in despair as the gendarme directs the boatmen to carry the corpse to the Morgue above.

Jean-François Millet (French, 1814-1875)

Jean-François Millet, one of the founders of the Barbizon School in France, was best known for his paintings of peasants and landscapes around the village of Barbizon. He was often accused of exaggerating the plight of the rural poor and of being critical of Napoleon III and his policies.

Hill-Stead Prints The Gleaners

Photo by Deborah Key

The Gleaners
Etching, ca. 1855-56

In his oil painting The Gleaners (1857), now at the Musee d’Orsay, he shows the indigent gleaning the fields for the stray bits of grain that were left after the harvest. A local official on horseback can be seen in the background separating the peasant women from the harvested grainstacks beyond, suggesting their inability to partake in the riches of the French agricultural establishment.

The Gleaners, an impression of which hangs in Hill-Stead’s entry hall, was made by the artist to promote the larger oil painting.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778)

Piranesi is perhaps best known for his print series of the Views of Rome, Vedute di Roma. He began this series in 1745-46 and continued until his death in 1778, producing 135 plates in all. These prints were popular with Englishmen taking the Grand Tour of Europe who wanted to bring home souvenirs of their travels. The Popes visited Rome during their Grand Tour of 1888-1889, and brought home four of Piranesi’s Vedute di Roma for their collection.

Hill-Stead Prints Piranesi Veduta del Ponte Salario

Photo by Deborah Key

Veduta del Ponte Salario (View of the Salario Bridge)
Etching, ca. 1760

Hill-Stead Prints Piranesi Arco di Settimio Severo 2

Photo by Deborah Key

Arco di Settimio Severo (Arch of Septimius Severus)
Etching, ca. 1760

Hill-Stead Prints Piranesi Veduta interna della Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano

Photo by Deborah Key

Veduta interna della Basilica di S.Pietro I Vaticano (Interior View of St. Peter’s)
Etching, ca. 1760

Hill-Stead Prints Piranesi Veduta degli Avanzi del Tablino

Photo by Deborah Key

Veduta degli avanzi del Tablino della Casa Aurea di Nerone (View of remains of the dining room of the Golden House of Nero)
Etching, ca. 1760

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)

James McNeill Whistler left the United States when he was 21 years old and never returned. However, he did encourage the patronage of American collectors such as Alfred Pope, who purchased seven of his paintings, four of which remain in the collection, and 18 of his prints, 16 of which are on permanent view. The paintings span 30 years of Whistler’s career and reflect his evolution from Realism to a more fluid Impressionistic approach. Hill-Stead’s archives include correspondence between Whistler and Alfred Pope that reveals the depth of their friendship and mutual regard.


Photo by Anne Day

Etching, from The French Set, ca. 1855
Second state

The collection of Whistler prints at Hill-Stead traces the major milestones in the artist’s career, beginning with three etchings from The French Set, done when the artist was in his twenties and newly arrived in France, observing scenes from Paris as well as the countryside. The other two prints from this set in the A.A. Pope Collection are Fumette (etching with drypoint, fourth state, ca. 1855) and La Marchande de Moutarde, etching with drypoint, third state, date unknown).

Bibi Lalouette

Photo by Anne Day

Bibi Lalouette
Etching, ca. 1859
Second state

Eagle Wharf

Photo by Anne Day

Eagle Wharf
Etching, from The Thames Set, ca. 1860
Only state

The collection of Whistler prints at Hill-Stead traces the major milestones in the artist’s career, beginning with three etchings from The French Set, done when the artist was in his twenties and newly arrived in France, observing scenes from Paris as well as the countryside.

The Thames Set was produced in the late 1850s -1860s after Whistler had moved to London. In addition to Eagle Warf, Mr. Pope collected two other prints from this set: The Lime Burner (etching with drypoint, second state, 1859); and The Pool (etching, fourth state, ca. 1865).


Photo by Anne Day

Old Battersea Bridge
Etching, ca. 1879
Second state


Photo by Anne Day

Upright Venice
Etching from The Second Venice Set, ca. 1885
Third state

The collection of Whistler prints at Hill-Stead traces the major milestones in the artist’s career, beginning with three etchings from The French Set, done when the artist was in his twenties and newly arrived in France, observing scenes from Paris as well as the countryside.

The Thames Set was produced in the late 1850s-1860s after Whistler had moved to London.

In the 1870s and 1880s, the artist created the First and Second Venice Sets. in addition to Upright Venice, Mr. Pope purchased three works: Nocturne (etching, fourth state, ca. 1879) and Little Venice (etching, only state, ca. 1880) from the First Venice Set; and Little Venice (etching, only state, ca. 1880) from the Second Venice Set. Also in Hill-Stead’s collection are three lithographs done by Whistler in the 1890s.

Complete Print Collection at Hill-Stead Museum – American & European

(Alphabetical by Artist)

Bracquemond, Felix (French, 1833-1914)

  • Gamecock, etching, ca. 1879

Dürer, Albrecht (German, 1471-1528)

  • The Sea Monster, engraving, ca. 1498
  • Melencolia I, engraving, 1514
  • The Virgin Crowned by Two Angels, engraving, 1518

Fortuny, Mariano (Spanish, 1838-1874)

  • Man with Pitcher, etching, date unknown

S’Gravesande, Charles Storm van (Dutch, 1841-1924)

  • House with Hemlocks, etching with drypoint, date unknown
  • Boats, drypoint, date unknown

Haden, Francis Seymour (English, 1818-1910)

  • Landscape with Single Cow, etching, ca. 1860
  • Shere Mill Pond, etching, only state, ca. 1860

Meryon, Charles (French, 1821-1868)

  • Le Petit Ponte, etching, ca. 1850
  • La Pompe Notre Dame, etching, ca. 1852
  • The Morgue, etching, fourth state, ca. 1854

Millet, Jean-François (French, 1814-1875)

  • The Gleaners, etching, ca. 1861

Monzies, Louis (French, ca. 1843-1913)

  • Cavalier on Sofa, etching, 1870, after Jehan George Vibert (French, 1840-1902)

Parrish, Stephen (American, 1846-1938)

  • Harbor at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, ca. 1900

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista (Italian, 1720-1778)

  • Veduta del Ponte Salario, etching, ca. 1760
  • Arco di Settimo Severo, etching, ca. 1760
  • Veduta Interno della Basilica San Pietro, etching, ca. 1760
  • Casa Aurea di Nerone, etching, ca. 1760

Rodriguez, G. (dates unknown)

  • Landscape and Lake, etching, ca.1867, after Karl Daubigny (French, 1846-1886)

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (American, 1834-1903)

  • French Set
    • Fumette, etching with drypoint, fourth state, ca. 1855
    • La Marchande de Moutarde, etching with drypoint, third state, date unknown
    • Liverdun, etching, second state, ca. 1855
    • Bibi Lalouette, etching, second state, ca. 1859
    • The Rag Gatherer, etching with drypoint, ca. 1860
  • The Thames Set
    • The Lime Burner, etching with drypoint, second state 1859
    • Eagle Wharf, etching, only state, ca. 1860
    • The Pool, etching, fourth state, ca. 1865
    • Old Battersea Bridge, etching, second state, ca. 1879
  • The First Venice Set
    • Nocturne, etching, fourth state, ca. 1879
    • Little Venice, etching, only state, ca. 1880
  • The Second Venice Set
    • Long Lagoon, etching, second state, ca. 1880
    • Upright Venice, etching, third state, ca. 1885
    • Vitre-The Canal, lithograph, ca. 1893
    • The Duet, lithograph, ca. 1894
    • Village Blacksmith, lithograph, ca. 1895

White, G. C. (dates unknown)

  • David M. Nichols Boiler Works, etching, 1903

Zielcken, Paul (dates unknown)

  • Landscape with Windmills, etching, ca. 1880
    after Jacob Maris (Dutch, 1837-1899)
  • Beached Boat, etching, ca. 1880’s, after Jacob Maris (Dutch, 1837-1899)