Reading by Lamplight
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||161 x 120 mm|
|Signed:||'J. Whistler' at lower right|
|No. of States:||3|
|Catalogues:||K.32; M.30; T.24; W.25|
|Impressions taken from this plate (40)|
Reading by Lamplight probably dates from December 1858 or January 1859.
It is the first etching specifically mentioned by Whistler, in a letter to Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), after Christmas at the Haden's house in Sloane Street. Writing after his return to Paris on 12 January 1859, he said:
'I'm working hard and my stay in London with you and Seymour has done me an immense good in "my art" ... My etchings have been very much admired, and I wish Seymour would send me three fine proofs of each in black ink. ... Tell Seymour to send me with the etchings, a proof of the one of yourself.' 1
1: Whistler to D. Haden, [12/30 January 1859], GUW #01913.
Whistler and Deborah's husband, Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), had learned to print etchings from Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907). The two brothers-in-law etched and printed portraits of family members. Whistler also etched Deborah in a group portrait, with Haden and Haden's partner James Reeves Traer (ca 1834- d.1867), in The Music Room .