Florence Leyland

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 136
Date: 1874
Medium: drypoint
Size: 215 x 140 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: ' "I am Flo" ' at right (6)
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 11
Known impressions: 43
Catalogues: K.110; M.109; T.79; W.96
Impressions taken from this plate  (43)


Eleven states are known before cancellation, restoration of the plate and a second cancellation.

State 1

Impression: K1100102
Signed with a butterfly at lower right.
The composition is mostly complete.

State 2

Impression: K1100202
A number of vertical lines are added to the background, to the left of the girl's head and arm, and one long vertical line is added at far left, crossing the arc of the hoop; several very fine diagonal lines are added to the shading between the girl's right leg and the shadow of her left leg.

State 3

Impression: K1100302
More fine vertical lines are added to the background at left, creating a large shadow; the girl's facial features are retouched, most notably her left eye and lips; close left to right (\\\) diagonal lines are added to left of her right ankle.
The impression illustrated above has conspicuous inking of the burr at lower left, while another impression of the same state, reproduced below, shows a different effect of inking.
Impression: K1100303

State 4

Impression: K1100301
Vertical lines now cross the diagonals to the left of the girl's right ankle.

State 5

Impression: K1100305
Three longer vertical lines are added to the second pleat from the left, above the hem of the skirt.

State 6

Impression: K1100401
Inscribed ' "I am Flo" ' [the 'F' reversed] at right, just above centre, possibly by the sitter.
A series of short vertical lines is added at the top edge of the image, above and to the left of the girl's head; the toe of the girl's right shoe is completed with two horizontal lines.

State 7

Impression: K1100503
Fine vertical lines now shade the butterfly signature.
The girl's legs and feet are almost completely removed; vertical lines are added along the top edge, and patches of verticals are added to the right of the girl's head and torso; fine diagonal lines are added just above and to the left of the girl's head, in the space to the left of her arm, within the arc of the hoop, to the left of the remnants of her legs, and to the right of her torso.

State 8

Impression: K1100502
The girl's legs are replaced by a slender right leg and foot, wearing a slipper, and a partial left foot; the shadow of the right leg is redrawn; patches of diagonal and almost vertical shading are added below the skirt; vertical shading extends further to the right; some diagonal shading to right of the girl's torso is removed, and her left sleeve is slightly widened between her shoulder and hip.

State 9

Impression: K1100704
More vertical lines are added on the left, extending shading further toward the edge; horizontal and diagonal lines are added along and above the floor line, to the left of the hoop; more verticals are added at right, and some now extend downward as far as the floor.

State 10

Impression: K1100702
The letters of the inscription are strengthened, most notably the reversed 'F' in 'Flo.'
Fine vertical lines are added to the shading across the top edge of the image, and some on the left are heavier and longer; new heavy lines to the left of the girl redefine her shadow on both the wall and floor; heavy shading is added to the folds of the skirt at left, and there are a few tiny lines added along the hem of the pinafore; the right leg is now wider at the calf, and the toe of the shoe is more clearly drawn; the sole of the left foot is flatter, there is more shading at the arch, and the outline of the ankle is completed.
The impression illustrated has considerable plate tone on the shadow, over and near the new shading in that area.

State 11

Impression: K1100802
The outlines of the girl's head, hair and frock are strengthened along with some shading on those areas; more shading is added to the arch of the left foot.
The impression reproduced is heavily inked.
This was Kennedy's 7th state of nine: he thought that there was another state after this, in which the shading at upper right was reduced. 10 Only one impression conforming to Kennedy's 8th state has been found (see Graphic with a link to impression #K1100z12), and it is the example illustrated in his catalogue. However, any change in that area or diminution of other drypoint lines appears to be the result of wear, so the lines still conform to Glasgow's state 11.

10: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 110, state 8/9).

State 11 (cancelled a)

Impression: K1101001
Cancelled very lightly with a series of complete and partial 'X's, to the left of the girl's head and shoulder, across her face and neck and on the floor at left and right, and with a series of slightly right to left diagonals (///) that extend from the girl's left shoulder across her right wrist; there are a number of random scratches near the right edge of the image (one short diagonal scratch creates an extention at the bottom of the reversed 'F' in 'Flo'), along with several prominent horizontal scratches.
Published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.

State 11 (restored, after cancellation a)

Impression: K1100902
Inscribed 'I am Flo:'. The original inscription is retraced and there now appear to be serifs at the top and bottom of the 'I' and at the bottom of the 'l' in 'Flo.' The style of the reversed 'F' in 'Flo' is changed to incorporate the diagonal scratch at the bottom, with a curving flourish at the top of the letter replacing the straight line in Whistler's original inscription. In addition, the quotation marks have disappeared, and there is a colon at the end of the inscription.
Impressions after the plate was cancelled and partly restored are deceptive because the drypoint 'X's used to cancel the plate are so fine and indistinct that they do not distract from the image in the plate's worn condition. The most prominent cancellation line - along the left side of the figure's face - was mostly removed, and impressions from the restored plate were printed with a light skim of plate tone, which disguised both the wear of the original drypoint lines and cancellation marks. In addition to changes to the inscription, some outlines were reinforced or redrawn, most notably the girl's right leg and right foot, which is shifted back to the position of the earliest states and now wears a square-toed shoe, and the entire arc of the hoop.
Kennedy apparently accepted impressions from the plate in this condition as Whistler's intended final state, as he makes no reference to cancellation or the changed inscription. 11

11: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 110, state 9/9).

State 11 (cancellation b)

The plate is more emphatically cancelled with two vertical lines.
No impression from the cancelled plate has been located. It is known only from the copper plate.