Stéphane Mallarmé

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 462
Date: 1891/1892
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 229 x 175 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)
This portrait, Stèphane Mallarmé, probably dates from late 1891 or 1892.
On 18 August 1891 Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) wrote to his editor Edmond Deman (1857-1918) that he hoped Whistler would etch a portrait as frontispiece for the forthcoming book of Mallarmé's poetry, Vers et Prose. Although he thought Whistler was too busy at that time, Mallarmé hoped that there might be an opportunity some time later. He was also concerned that Whistler might not approve of the size of the edition that would be needed, namely 1000 impressions. 1

Whistler visited Mallarmé at Valvins in June 1891, and was frequently in Paris from 1891-1893, so that there were plenty of opportunities to work on the portrait. On 21 June 1892 Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896) wrote to Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), 'he is doing a portrait of a very distinguished man, a poet'. 2

1: Barbier 1964, p. 94.

2: GUW #09686.