The Piano

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 144
Date: 1875-1877
Medium: drypoint and open bite
Size: 236 x 160 mm
Signed: butterfly at left (3-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 7
Known impressions: 26
Catalogues: K.141; M.139; W.117
Impressions taken from this plate  (26)


Seven states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Impression: K1410102
There is no signature or inscription.
There is hardly any shading in the background.

State 2

Impression: K1410202
Panelling and pictures are added in the background, and shadows under the piano at left, and around the figure; light slanting shading is added on the skirt.

State 3

Impression: K1410301
Signed with a butterfly at left, above centre.
New work includes numerous vertical lines across the top and right; fine horizontal and diagonal shading on both sides of the head; and vertical lines below her arms, to left of earlier lines.

State 4

Impression: K1410401
The outline of the piano is extended to left; six vertical lines are added to left of the shadows under the piano; very fine vertical lines shade the cartouche behind the butterfly.

State 5

Impression: K1410402
The woman's face and the top of her head have been lightly reworked, so that the nose is defined more clearly, and she looks more serious; a short diagonal line is added at the top of her fringe.
In the impression reproduced there is also a small diagonal smudge of ink in the background to left of her face.

State 6

Impression: K1410405
A patch of vertical lines is added in the background panelling to upper left of her head; a row of short diagonal lines is added to the shading to right of her knee; the diagonal line at the top of her fringe has been removed or has worn down.

State 7

Impression: K1410602
A row of short vertical lines is added in the background above the butterfly; the short diagonal lines shading the skirt at right are extended further; long diagonal lines cross earlier shading on the top of her skirt and her left arm; fine, close diagonal shading is added in the background to right of the figure and around her head; long vertical shading under the figure at right is extended.

State 7 (cancelled)

Impression: K1410702
Cancelled with wide-spaced crossed diagonal lines across the figure.