La Mère Gérard

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 24
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 129 x 90 mm
Signed: 'Whistler - ' at lower left (2-final)
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' at lower centre (4)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 53
Catalogues: K.11; M.13; T.6; W.9
Impressions taken from this plate  (53)
Etching: PK011_01 (plate)
A small vertical copper plate, it is one of only two known to have been acquired in Paris from Juéry in the rue de la Huchette in the Latin Quarter. The other is a larger copper plate, J. Becquet, Sculptor [62], which dates from the following year, 1859.

Juéry may have not only sold but published copper plates : an etching of studies for La Tricoteuse by Jean Baptiste Millet (1831-1906), dating from the 1850s, bears the stamp of 'M JUÉRY/ 27, RUE DE LA/ HUCHETTE/ PARIS, who may have published of the copper plate. 9

Juéry and Godard, both copper-merchants and art suppliers in the rue de la Huchette, may also have sold cancelled plates by other artists. Whistler bought some to save money. Both J. Becquet, Sculptor [62], bought from Juéry, and En Plein Soleil [11], bought from Godard, show distinct traces of earlier compositions by other hands. However, there are no obvious traces of any other artist's work on the copper plate for La Mère Gérard.

9: British Museum 1881,1112.147, on (accessed 2012).

After publication in the 'French Set', the plate was steel-faced but not cancelled. The plate was acquired by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) with other plates from the ‘French Set’. It is now in the Freer Gallery of Art. 10

10: Acc. No. 1906.206.