Au Sixième

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 3
Date: 1857
Medium: etching
Size: 108 x 77 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: 'Au Sixième'
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.3; M.2; T.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


Lochnan relates the etching to Whistler's pen and ink drawings of studio life, An artist in his studio [m0211] and Scene from Bohemian life [m0213]. The pen technique is similar, with fine dotted shading on faces, and areas of shadow drawn with a combination of short broken lines and irregular cross-hatching. 13

13: Lochnan 1984, pp. 21-23.


Only two impressions are known, and both were owned by family members (Graphic with a link to impression #K0030102, Graphic with a link to impression #K0030103). One was printed in black ink on off-white China paper laid down on ivory wove paper (Graphic with a link to impression #K0030102), and the next in brown ink on ivory wove paper (Graphic with a link to impression #K0030103).
Lochnan suggests 'that these impressions were pulled on a hand press in the rue Campagne-Première to which Whistler had access in 1857-58.' 14 The source for this suggestion is the Pennells, who mention among Whistler's Paris lodgings:

14: Lochnan 1984, pp. 21-23.

'No. 3 Rue Campagne-Première, where Drouet had a studio. ... Drouet says that Whistler himself never printed at this time. But Oulevey remembers a little press in the Rue de Campagne-Première, and Whistler pulling the proofs for the occasional friend who came to buy them.' 15

15: Pennell 1908, I, pp. 54, 71, referring to Charles L. Drouet (1836-1908).