Annie Haden with Books

Impression: New York Public Library
New York Public Library
Number: 6
Date: 1857/1858
Medium: etching
Size: 97 x 65 mm
Signed: 'J. W.' in reverse at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.8; M.10; T.-; W.2
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
Annie Haden with books was probably etched in 1857. Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921) suggested a date of 1857. 1 However, a date of early 1858 is also possible.

The technique suggests that it was etched very early in Whistler's etching career, being similar to that in Au Sixième [3], and Portrait of Whistler [5]. Annie was born in 1848, so if Wedmore is correct, she would have been 9 years old. The exaggerated chiaroscuro and serious expression on the girl's face make it difficult to be sure of her age.

1: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 2).

Lochnan suggests that this portrait dated from slightly later, between February and March 1858, when Whistler was convalescing at the house in Sloane Street, London, owned by the sitter's parents, Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908) and Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910). 2

The signature 'J.W.' is in an early form, suggesting a date of 1857 or early 1858 (etchings similarly signed include The Dutchman Holding A Glass [4], Seymour, Standing [10] and Portrait of Whistler [5]). By the end of 1858, Whistler was signing his work with his full surname: two portraits, Little Arthur [8], and Annie [7], first signed with the initials, were signed 'Whistler' when published with the 'French Set' in November 1858.

2: Lochnan 1984, pp. 25-26.