Marchande de Vin, Ajaccio

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 485
Date: 1901
Medium: etching
Size: 101 x 68 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


In one impression, reproduced below, many of the etched lines denoting the face and shoulder of the man at right were scraped from the paper and many changes were suggested in pen an ink (Graphic with a link to impression #E010201).
Impression: E010201
The shawl, jacket and skirt were shaded to suggest a darker material and the outlines of the skirt thickened; vertical shading was added on the apron, and more shading on the man's jacket and on the arch above him. These changes blend with the etching, and are difficult to distinguish from the etched lines; they were not, however, carried out on the plate.


The Pennells record Whistler's problems with the plates and rain:
'... when the weather gave him a chance, he worked on his copperplates. J. [Joseph Pennell (1860-1926)] had grounded them at the last moment in the damp cold of London, they were packed in among his linen, and taken out in the hot sun of Ajaccio. The result was that the varnish came off in the biting - "All my dainty work lost" he said - and it looked as if the great shadow had fallen upon our friendship. But he knew the fault was his, and the shadow passed as quickly as it had come.' 9

9: Pennell 1908, vol. 2, pp. 265-266.

Whether Whistler also attempted to etch and print his plates in Corsica is not clear. Towards the end of February 1901 Francois Péraldi (dates unknown) lent him a studio but attempts to paint were unsatisfactory, 'Well I was goose enough to rush into it with joy! - and of course I cannot possibly paint under his nose! - ' 10

10: Whistler to to R. B. Philip, 25-27 February [1901], GUW #04793.

There is only one state of this etching. Two impressions have been located, both printed in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper, and trimmed to the platemark, leaving a signed tab (Graphic with a link to impression #E010101, Graphic with a link to impression #E010201). The second - mentioned above - was extensively drawn on in pen and ink (Graphic with a link to impression #E010201). None of these pen additions were added on the plate.