|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||298 x 203 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at upper left|
|Set/Publication:||'Second Venice Set', 1886|
|No. of States:||19|
|Catalogues:||K.207; M.204; W.177|
|Impressions taken from this plate (56)|
Twenty states are known before cancellation.
Signed with a butterfly near the left edge, above the balcony.
The composition is mostly complete; the upper body of the man standing in the boat in front of the doorway is roughly indicated, and his lower body is only faintly delineated.
The woman standing in the doorway, the area around her and the man standing in the boat are partly removed; three heads and one torso are faintly indicated in the third window from the right; shading is added to the right corner of the second window from the left.
The impression illustrated has black pen and ink additions to the outline of the standing woman in the doorway, and pen and ink outlines of a seated figure - with a standing figure, wearing a hat, drawn over it - are added over traces of the standing man in the boat. It is the only impression of this state that has been located, and it has numerous condition problems, including stains, foxing and poorly inked lines at the top of the image. The sheet was also torn in half horizontally and put back together with a backing sheet - probably an indication that it is a working proof that originally had been discarded by Whistler.
The woman standing in the doorway is removed and replaced by the beginnings of another woman, to the right of centre in the doorway, with the suggestion of a smaller figure, to left of centre; the partly delineated man standing in the boat is removed and replaced by the preliminary outlines of a larger man; heavy left to right diagonal shading (\\\) is added within the doorway.
The woman standing in the doorway remains at the right of centre but is now very slender, with arms akimbo, and is surrounded by dark shading; the man in the boat is more clearly delineated; considerable shading is added between the central balusters of the balcony and to the window openings above it, where figures in the two rightmost windows are more distinct; spots of foul biting appear above the shuttered window at the top, in a diagonal row at the upper right corner of the image and on the water to right of the doorway's reflection.
The woman in the doorway is changed again: she now stands on the left side of the doorway and faces toward the left; there is regular shading in all directions around her, with a lighter - almost rectangular - form on the right side of the doorway; the man in the boat is now smaller, with legs spread, and holds a hat in his right hand; the gunwale of the boat, by the man's feet, and the left side of the steps to the doorway are mostly removed, but pale drypoint lines delineate the treads and risers of the steps; much of the shading in the three window openings at centre and right has been removed, the figure in the second window from the right is changed from a woman to a man in a hat, and the two figures in the rightmost window are now indistinct; there is a mark from a tool at lower centre, below the reflection of the doorway.
Left to right diagonal shading (\\\) is added in the lower left corner of the second window from the right, to the left of the man with the wide-brimmed hat.
The woman is slightly changed: her neck is thinner, her hair is darker, and her left sleeve is slightly narrower from the shoulder to the wrist; there is distinct horizontal shading on the right side of the form to the right of the woman, which no longer appears rectangular in shape.
This was Kennedy's fourth state, which he believed preceded his and Glasgow's fifth state. However, the subtle changes to the standing woman and the horizontal shading at the right side of the doorway are apparent in his and Glasgow's sixth state. 7
7: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 207 IV). The fourth state reproduction is very poor and is missing much fine detail, which may explain Kennedy's confusion.
Darker shading is added around the woman in the doorway, including left to right diagonals (\\\) that extend to the left side of the indistinct form to her right; regular diagonal shading is added to the woman's left sleeve, and there are dark lines in the area of her left wrist and hand.
Probably published in this state, and certainly in later states, by Messrs Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau with the Twenty-six Etchings (the 'Second Venice Set') in 1886.
The pose of the woman in the doorway is changed, and she now holds a round object in her left hand; there is more shading on the woman, beneath her feet and within the open dooprway; the left arm of the man standing in the boat is now more clearly delineated, as are his legs and the shading on his back and the hat in his right hand; there is more work on the steps to the doorway, which are now complete; the gunwale of the boat is fully drawn, and there is considerable drypoint shading on the stern and interior of the boat; drypoint shading is added to the reflections of the boat and the doorway; diagonal shading is added to the second window opening from the right.
Published in this and later sets in the 'Second Venice Set'.
The woman in the doorway is redrawn, facing to the right and only partly shaded; much of the dark shading beneath the woman's feet and within the doorway is reduced; the shading in the second window opening from the right is lightened, and there is considerable new shading on the cloth hanging over the balcony below that window; a new patch of shading is added at the upper left of the arch above the open doorway; additional spots of foul biting appear at the upper left corner of the image and near the right edge, below the rightmost figure, and there is granular foul biting on other areas of the plate, most notably across the window panes above the balcony.
The impression illustrated has numerous tears and paper losses and is unsigned. The only known example of this state, it was among the works bequeathed to Whistler's executrix, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), and was likely a working proof.
The woman in the doorway is changed again and now faces forward with arms by her sides; more shading is removed from the dooway opening, and a few short diagonal lines are added at the upper left.
The woman in the doorway is changed once again: she has light hair, wears a frock with cap sleeves, and stands in the centre of the doorway, with arms at her sides, holding a round pitcher in her left hand; dark shading is added to the open doorway; more shading is added to the three windows above the balcony from the centre to the right; there is additional shading on the man in front of the second window from the right, and there are now two figures in the rightmost window; more shading is added to the wall below the left side of the drapery hanging over the balcony; heavier shading is added to the the reflection of the doorway.
The hair and frock of the woman in the doorway are slightly changed: her hair is dark, the bodice of her dress is closely fitted, only her left arm is visible, and the sleeve appears to be long; the pitcher in the woman's left hand now appears to be oval, rather than round, with a less-clearly-defined spout.
The shape of the head of the woman in the doorway is changed: it is slightly larger and more angular in appearance; fine shading is added to the front of the woman's skirt and to her left arm, and the lower edge of her skirt is more clearly defined by dark shading.
The head of the woman in the doorway is changed again: her face is round, with lightly indicated features, and her hair is dark; heavier shading is added to one side of the bottom of the woman's skirt, below the pitcher.
The head of the woman in the doorway and her frock are changed once again: her face is oval, her hair is swept up on top of her head, her facial features are more clearly indicated, and her frock is now lighter and less fitted at the bodice, with a puffed sleeve above the elbow and a dark, ruffled band along the hem; the woman's right arm is just visible, along her right side; the pitcher in the woman's hand is more heavily shaded, has a well-defined spout and is round in shape; heavier etched shading is added to the open doorway, most notably at the lower right, where there are now many curving horizontal and diagonal lines.
There is considerably more shading on the frock of the woman in the doorway, and the bodice is both darker and more closely fitted; the woman's right arm is no longer visible; dark shading is added to the lower left of the open doorway, above the head of the man standing in the boat.
The shape of the head of the woman in the doorway is changed: it is wider at the brow and her face is no longer oval; the woman's neck is visible below the line defining her chin, her hair is worn on top of her head - but lower on her brow - and her eyes are now drawn immediately below her hair; there is more shading on the bodice of the woman's dress, and the pitcher in her left hand is less distinct.
In his catalogue, Kennedy reversed the final two states of this print, and his 10th and 11th states are now Glasgow's 19th and 18th 8 The reversal is clear when impressions of the new final state are compared to proofs taken from the cancelled plate, where the details within the doorway are the same. It is also not true that shading was removed from the windows above the balcony, as Kennedy described. Those lines are present in impressions taken from the cancelled plate, and vary in other examples of the last states of The Balcony, depending upon wear and inking.
8: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 207 X-XI).
Shading is added to the front of the skirt of the woman in the doorway, most notably an irregular band of lines that runs on a diagonal from below her right hip to the centre of the skirt; some lines are now worn, reducing the contrast between the bodice and skirt of the frock; wear is also apparent on some dark shading within the doorway.