Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 461
Date: 1891/1892
Medium: unbitten; drawn with an etching needle through ground that has been removed
Size: 102 x 67 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 12
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (12)
Mallarmé is unfinished and difficult to date stylistically. However, it probably dates from 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

1: Barbier 1964, p. 94.

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 the print dealer Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), 'he is doing a portrait of a very distinguished man, a poet'. 2

2: GUW #09686.