Bibi Valentin

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 34
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 152 x 228 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower left
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 44
Catalogues: K.50; M.50; T.26; W.28
Impressions taken from this plate  (44)
The copper plate was the same size as Soupe à trois sous [64], but neither of these plates have been located. It is possible the plate was among those left in Paris, and retrieved by Whistler from Hardy-Alan in 1873. 5

The copper plate may have been sold at Whistler's bankruptcy sale. The plate appears to have been damaged at this time or shortly afterwards. It was not included in a set of impressions from cancelled plates as published by The Fine Art Society, London in 1879.

5: Whistler to Hardy-Alan, 7 July 1873, GUW #10042.

It is possible that the plate, although slightly damaged, was printed in the period between the bankruptcy and 1883 - one such scratched impression predates 1883, when it was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K0500231). It may have been repaired and reprinted before being cancelled, possibly in the late 1890s.
A single impression from the cancelled plate was bound in a unique album that is now in Yale University Art Gallery (Graphic with a link to impression #K0500z08). In addition to the cancelled set, it contains several etchings that may also have been printed in the 1890s in America, and cancelled in a similar way with ruled lines.