An Artist Sketching

Impression: British Museum
British Museum
Number: 23
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 155 x 107 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: 'Treize Eaux Fortes d'apres Nature - ' at top; 'par / James. Whistler - / à / Mon viel Ami Seymour Haden.' lower centre; 'Imp. Delatre Rue St. Jacques. 171.' lower left; 'Paris Nov 1858.' lower right
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.25½
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
The etching is based on sketches made between August and September 1858. 1 It may have been etched then, but more likely back in Paris. It is inscribed along the bottom edge 'Paris Nov 1858.' According to Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932):

1: An artist sketching [m0270], pencil, Freer Gallery of Art.

'This plate was made in Eastern France when the artist was returning from a tour in the Rhine Country. It is somewhat similar in composition to No. 25, "The Title to the French Set," though in shape it is upright and slightly out of square. Whistler, very likely, was not satisfied with it and made the smaller and better drawn plate to suit his purpose.' 2

2: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 25 1/2).

The tour took place between 14 August and 7 October 1858. Lochnan suggested that the title pages would have been the last etchings in the 'French Set' to be etched. 3

3: Lochnan 1984, pp. 50-1.