Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Mortimer Menpes came to England in 1875. By the time of his momentous meeting with Whistler in 1880, Menpes had already established a considerable reputation as an etcher. Through his friendship with Whistler, Mortimer Menpes learnt the finer techniques of etching whilst, in return, he assisted ‘The Master’ in printing his first Venice Set. Mortimer Menpes remained an integral part of Whistler’s artistic milieu until after his extensive expedition to Japan in 1887, when he broke away from Whistler’s style and was applauded in his own right for his Japanese works. From this point on, Mortimer Menpes’s independent career was able to blossom in its own right and through his extensive travels he produced the largest body of topographical etchings and drypoints to be created by any original printmaker of the period. These works are remarkable for their topographical accuracy and are evidence of the consumate skill of a master printmaker.